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