Bianca Williams founded AFFC Law Firm in Greenville, South Carolina after earning her J.D. degree from North Carolina Central University. She is a member of the North Carolina, South Carolina, and District of Columbia bar associations. She focuses her practice on matters involving estate planning, probate administration, and bankruptcy law. In 2020, she founded her nonprofit, Premature Millionaires, with the mission to provide financial, spiritual, and mentoring resources to children in foster care. To learn more about Bianca’s passion to advocate for children in foster care, please enjoy this exclusive article.
Tell us more about your AFFC Law Firm:
My name is Bianca Williams, I am a local practicing attorney in the Carolinas and the proud and passionate owner of the Premature Millionaires, a nonprofit for foster children. I became licensed in August of 2015, initially in the state of North Carolina then in 2016, I became licensed in South Carolina. When I became licensed in South Carolina, I officially launched my Law Firm. When I started my practice, I was working part-time on the weekends from 7 a.m. till early evening and then practicing law for the State from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the week. I worked this schedule for about two years until January of 2018 where I transitioned to practicing law full time as an entrepreneur. My practice areas include Bankruptcy, Estate planning, Probate Administration, and Guardianship & Conservatorships.
What inspired this passion for a career in Law?
The opportunity to learn more about being an Attorney was when I was 7 years old watching a crime show. In this episode, there was a young black teen who was convicted of a crime for being an accessory, which in my young eyes I felt like he was not guilty or connected to the crime. Unfortunately, in the show, while the young teen was waiting in the car his friends were conducting a burglary and ended up killing the homeowner. I felt like the teen was not guilty but under the law there is a felony murder rule that explains if in the commission of a crime someone gets hurt or murdered then you can get charged with that murder.
On a personal note, I was placed in foster care at the age of ten, which changed the trajectory of my life after being sexually and physically abused. My personal experience of being through the foster care system and not fully getting the justice deserved promoted the initial focus to be an attorney.
What inspired you to start the “Premature Millionaires” Nonprofit?
Premature Millionaires started from my personal story; I was in foster care for seven years from 1999 to 2006 in the state of Connecticut. I was blessed because I only went to a total of three foster homes and at the final home my foster mom adopted me.
Even though I was blessed and had certain benefits, I still was met with hurdles. The first hurdle was finances, in which at 17-years-old I was “feeling myself” and so forth, my mom kicked me out the house, and I was living from house to house. Looking back in hindsight, I think it was my way of self-sabotaging and in the foster care system your always met with statistics and data as well as told that its very rare that you’re going to graduate from high school and less than 10% is going to college. During this time, it was my senior year, and I was in the process of applying for colleges and taking the SATs. I met with my guidance counselor and instead of being presented with options about different schools and the process to apply, I was presented with a folder with different benefits, food stamps, and options about being independent instead of school options. After that meeting I felt devastated because it was not the same meeting my friends went through. So, I decided to reach out to one of my teachers with tears and just explained to him my entire story with foster care as well as my aspirations to go to college. He advocated for me and went back to my guidance counselor and demanded that I get offered the same college information and process on ways to apply.
The other hurdle I faced was not having enough scholarships or Financial Aid (FASFA) for college. In order to be declared independent, I either had to be homeless or my parents were predeceased, and/or I was living and working on my own. None of those were my circumstances! I was living with different family members, but my adopted mom claimed me as a dependent on her taxes and I was still in the category to be claimed as a dependent. My FASFA application was rejected. This was my first personal legal fight and appealed the Department of Education decision. I ended up winning and was declared as an independent. During the process I shared my story of why I wanted to go to school!
This encounter really solidifies the “Why” behind Premature Millionaires for several reasons. One, growing up in the foster care system you are always hit with data and statistics about what you can do versus what you can’t do. I believe a lot of times people can’t obtain those things of success unless spoken to them and affirmed. I am big of affirmation! I chose the name Premature Millionaires, because the word “Foster” has a negative stigma, and I wanted a name that affirms on what those individuals in the system can be. “Millionaires” is an affirmation in the making or the mindset to reach all goals and aspirations with no limitations. This also represents my story and the teacher who advocated for me to go to college.
Premature Millionaires, Inc. is a 501© (3) nonprofit organization who is devoted to making a difference in the community. We provide mentoring, financial, and educational resources to children in foster care and aim to provide high-quality programs that benefit young adults who will be aging out of the state system.
How were you able to enjoy the work life balance during the entire 2020?
I can respectfully and humbly say that this year has been a blessing for me. I grew closer to God and entered a season of shift when it came to my work life balance as well as my goals. My work life balance became more balanced! In 2020, despite all that happened, it was a change to re-group, restart, and refuel.