The idea for the Collective was sparked through conversations between Rochelle Williams, C.S.W., and Benita Miller Johnston, Esq., when they worked together at Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Division Brooklyn Office. Both women were struck by the lack of developmentally-appropriate services and supports being provided to Brooklyn’s pregnant and parenting adolescents. Beyond a place to live and a few parenting skills classes little more is offered to these young mothers. Additionally, many young women are separated from their children with little or no thought about the long-term impact this separation has on the family unit.

Ms. Williams is a longtime child advocate and resident of Brooklyn. She attended Brooklyn College and graduated with a degree in history. She received an M.S.W. from Fordham University and did post-graduate work at New York University. Ms. Williams is currently employed at The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Services Unit in Brooklyn. Ms. Miller Johnston has worked for several non-profit agencies in New York City and Detroit, MI. Since leaving Legal Aid, she spends her time volunteering at her son's middle school and launching the Collective at the Brooklyn site of the Alternative Program for Pregnant and Parenting Teens. She attended Wayne State University and earned a B.F.A. in print journalism and received her law degree from Syracuse University.
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