Doing Our Work

 

Andrea Johnson

special advisor

Andrea is a co-founder of Women and Girls Thriving in Brookline and is now a senior advisor to Women Thriving, Inc. In addition to her private practice in Wellesley, Andrea was on the staff of the Brookline Community Mental Health Center for over 40 years where she was the Director of Intern Training and a member of the Family and Couples Team, a racial affinity awareness group, and the Diversity Team. While she initially was involved in community outreach work at the Center, in more recent years Andrea’s clinical focus was on individuals, couples, families, and groups. Andrea has training through the Harvard Medical School Mind Body Institute as well as experience with meditation and mindfulness workshops and retreats. She has also been trained in somatic therapy techniques, hypnosis and is a Reiki Master. In addition to being involved with Thriving planning and program development, Andrea has co-facilitated workshop series including Surviving and Thriving groups, Healthy Eating and Cooking, Poetry and Writing. She is committed to the model of engaging local organizations, women with lived experience and volunteers in determining needs and creating and implementing programming to benefit the entire community.

 

Judith Stroum

Communications and Evaluation

Judith does communications and evaluation work for Women Thriving, Inc. and has been a participant in Women and Girls Thriving in Brookline since 2015. After beginning somewhat reticently slouching in her chair in the conference room of the Brookline Center, Judith developed confidence by taking workshops that challenged her creatively (writing and editing Women Moving Forward, Thriving’s video) and has since seized on opportunities to write whenever possible and to assume leadership roles. Judith is co-leader of the Access and Information Sharing Working Group, and serves on the Fundraising Group and the Healthy Food and Lifestyle Working Group. She facilitates focus groups for evaluation, writes and designs a newsletter twice a year, and regularly does public speaking at community and fundraising events. In 2017, Judith co-led Thriving’s panel presentation at the Collective Impact Convening in Boston where she spoke in front of an audience of over eighty people. Her lived experience as a low-income woman strengthens her commitment to the women she works with and the work she does, and she looks forward to taking on more roles and growing further with the organization. Judith holds a BA in English literature from Skidmore College and is a grandmother to grandsons Gus, age 6, and Roey, 1.

 

Misti Jaynes

Outreach and Recruitment

Misti does outreach and recruitment for Women Thriving Inc. and served as Community Liaison to Public Housing for Women and Girls Thriving in Brookline as well since 2016. She is the leader of the Healthy Food and Lifestyle Working Group and serves on the Access and Information Sharing Working Group. In 2016, Misti participated in a national leadership conference in Washington, D.C., and since has steadily increased her leadership and community building through the liaison role in which she gathers and shares information with Brookline Public Housing residents and staff, and recruits women to participate in activities. She co-facilitates an 8-week healthy eating workshop series and co-leads fitness series for women in public housing. In the spring of 2017, she co-led a significant panel presentation at the Collective Impact Convening in Boston. She also helped initiate Thriving work with teen girls in housing, our workshop series, “Empowered Girl Leaders Building Healthy Relationships.” Misti has demonstrated uncommon leadership from the beginning of Thriving, participating in our 2014 needs and assets assessment, adding her voice to Thriving’s community summits, and participating in our “Women Moving Forward” video production project. With her husband Sean, Misti takes responsibility for our Listening and Learning dinner programs and menus and has shown her leadership in caring for the gardens at Lawton Park and Webster Street as well as emceeing a TV show featuring Thriving members that appeared on Brookline’s cable station. Always engaged, Misti is the mother of four children, ranging from school age to college and beyond. She was the recipient of Brookline’s Woman of the Year award in 2017. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is not possible to walk a block in Brookline Village without four people stopping her to say hello.