HerStory...Rochelle Johnson


I was born in Illinois and raised in Gary, IN [Yes, the city where Michael Jackson was born]. Growing up in a city like Gary, you are marked with a stamp of “failure”; For me failure was not an option. I did not grow up privileged with a silver spoon in my mouth, it was a struggle, a struggle that would ultimately mold the woman I have become today.  My mom was a single mother with two daughter who did the best she knew how  to raise. I look back now and see that we were poor, she made it feel like we can have anything we wanted. I had no idea then she  gave us her all.  Growing up in an environment like Gary and with a mom who only finished high school and at that time no job only the system to take care of us, I had no clue there was more out there. We were taught, go to school and finish. I had no hopes & dreams but one goal finish high school. No idea where I would end up or how I would even make it but I had mother and grandmother who were praying women who kept us in the church as a child.In the church is where I began to realize how different I was... 

At 17, I found myself pregnant and facing my senior year in  high school. I was so afraid but I didn‘t allow that to detour me (After all I endured far worse in my life). I was molested by a family member as a child, in a relationship with an older man at 16 and raped at 18.

Four years later, I would be now married to my sons dad and pregnant with my second child born on June 12, 1999. My perfect bouncing baby boy began as early as I can remember at age 2 to present signs that something was not right. As a mom of now two sons you just know that this child was not developing in the manner my first born had. Being in denial, I blew it off as being, “he is just developing slower than my oldest son”. It wasn’t until my son entered into kindergarten that the delays were visible by someone other than myself. I was experiencing daily phone calls from teachers with problems in school. I was called and at the school so much every teacher and administrator knew me (even if my son had no encounters with them).

I was then referred by my sons pediatrician  after being told that he was just “hard headed”, to a behavioral specialist, who then referred me to a psychologist. My son tested from the age of 5 until he was clinically diagnosed with autism by the time he was 9 years old.

The journey I would take with my sons taught me valuable lessons. I could not allow my situation to become my final destination. I could not allow the labels that were put on me to become what defined me. I would not settle for less than all that life had for me and my children because of a diagnosis. 

As women, we minimize ourselves to care for our children and we go thru an adjustment period, a learning and strengthening phase.  

My son who is now 19 years old, has endured life with obstacles and still continues to beat the odds despite of Autism, battling depression and OCD. He faces them fearlessly everyday, so who am I to feel sorry for all that I endure I‘m reminded I am his voice. 

I decided 10 years ago that I’d give positive  hope to the world. I would create a platform to deliver a positive message and educate the world on the positivity that life is filled with in all areas.  6Twelve Magazine was born! There is so much negativity going on in the world and so few sources that deliver a positive messages of the things that are good going on in the world. Our children have few options that inspired or educated people to live despite of the obstacles they had or may face in their lives. 6 Twelve would become their source!

6 Twelve is a voice, a voice for those who face trials and triumph. 6 Twelve is my autistic son’s voice; From evaluations, appointments,  school challenges, depression, medication, isolation and living his life under a “microscope”.  I owe it to him to be his voice and the voice of countless others who would not otherwise have one. I owe my sons a fight to give back a voice that was taken away from our family by an Autism Diagnosis. My sons will forever be my motivation and inspiration behind what the world knows as 6 Twelve Magazine.

6 Twelve Magazine represents strength, endurance and survival.

6 Twelve Magazine is positive,entertaining, educating and inspiring! 

Thank you to those who read my story and  inspired to live! Thank you to those who continually support 6 Twelve Magazine’s journey, you are greatly appreciated.

Keep watching, keep supporting, keep believing!

Thank you,

Rochelle Johnson

Founder|Editor in Chief

6 Twelve Magazine