Donna Pharis was born in Atlanta, Georgia and lived in various places, including Germany and Alaska, growing up. She graduated from Armstrong State University with a degree in Speech Correction. She has a Masters in Deaf Education from Georgia State University and earned a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech in 1989. Donna earned a Specialist in Education degree from Piedmont College in 2012. She worked as a teacher of the Deaf at Atlanta Area School for the Deaf and Atlanta Speech School. She also worked as a Speech Pathologist at Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, at Walton County Schools, N.E. Ga. RESA, Gwinnett Co. Schools, and Kidspeech.