Melrita Garrett Johnson, a local licensed master social worker, has created “Resiliency. Empowerment. Faith. Overcomer” (REFORM) Inc.


The president and founder of REFORM Inc., Johnson is the wife of the Rev. Aaron L. Johnson, pastor of Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church, and has five children.


Employed as a medical social worker at Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Johnson has also been a mental health therapist, therapeutic foster care therapist and geri-psych therapist.


She has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Arkansas State University and in 2010 she received a Master in Social Work degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


She is formerly a family service worker with the Department of Human Services-Division of Children and Family Services in Jefferson County.


REFORM Inc. is a Section 501 c3 non-profit corporation based at Pine Bluff.


“Its purpose is to empower transitional independent-aged youth and young adults from 14-24 to become leaders and to prepare them with the skills and knowledge needed through education, life skills and vocational training,” according to a news release.


“REFORM Inc. seeks to foster commitment from the youth to the outcome and solution and from the community to be a part of the process and solution. REFORM Inc. seeks to become an asset to the youth by developing their sense of hope for the future and promote strong interpersonal skills to be uncovered by the youth in order for them to follow through to adulthood on a positive path with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and increased self-esteem and knowledge,” according to the news release.


REFORM Inc. plans several upcoming events.


From 5-7 p.m., Thursday, July 20, a launch soiree will be held at Briggs BBQ, 2221 S. Olive St., Suite J. The free event is open to the public. The community is invited to meet the board of directors and learn more about REFORM Inc. at the drop-in event.


“We will offer finger foods, door prizes and answer inform the community and answer questions regarding exactly what REFORM Inc. is and what we seek to do. The community can also inquire as to how they can be involved as far as volunteering and donations because we will need them to assist us in making the biggest impact on our youths’ lives,” she said.


REFORM Inc.’s first fundraiser began July 10 and the agency is launching #REFORMArkansas404040 Challenge.


A back-to-school extravaganza will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Trinity Annex Building, 2900 W. Sixth Ave., where the agency will celebrate the culmination of a fundraiser.


On Aug. 19, Johnson will turn 40 and instead of throwing a birthday party, Johnson seeks to raise at least $40,000 in 40 days with all proceeds to go towards REFORM Inc. to benefit youth, she said.


“We will use the money from the #REFORMArkansas404040 Challenge to assist us in supporting this event, upcoming programming and development, and our Youth, Teen, and Young Adult Empowerment Summit (YTAYAES) we are planning for October,” she said.


“We already have secured the Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority, 4-H, Ada Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Stars, EASI Ambulance Service and more however we still are seeking more partners to make this a grand event,” she said.


Details: Melrita Garrett-Johnson, 870-519-9482, reformarkansas@yahoo.com, mail P.O. Box 2077 Pine Bluff, AR 71613, paypal.me/reformincarkansas or visit their new website being launched July 20, 2017, at www.reformarkansas.org.