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The partnership between Ability Tree First Coast and the communities in Northeast Florida will be the cornerstone of its future. We are committed to meeting the needs of the special needs community by offering Recreation, Education, Support, and Training. Our organization’s approach to excellence in the family’s development, socialization, and support will be its hallmark.

As Ability Tree First Coast grows its roots deeper into this region, our programs will provide various opportunities for our families to be supported, included, and educated. We currently offer SociAbility Meet Ups, respite through our Parents Night Out & Parents Day Out, as well as provide a summer day camp: CampAbility Special Day Camp. In the future, we will offer activities including sensory friendly activities, sibling groups, workshops, after-school care. We also currently promote inclusion in the community by offering trainings & presentations/assemblies which provide awareness & strategies for churches, businesses, schools, and organizations to assimilate these families into their visions.

Ability Tree Roots:

Joe and Jen Butler were college students, studying pastoral ministry, when their son Micah was diagnosed with developmental disabilities. They would go on to pastor for five years before founding Ability Tree, a faith-based nonprofit organization, in 2010. Joe and Jen have been married for 22 years, have three children, and a personal understanding of the impact of disability on the family.


To come alongside families impacted by disability and equip organizations through Recreation, Education, Support, and Training (R.E.S.T.).


To create inclusive and supportive communities where individuals and families affected by disability can enjoy healthy relationships in their neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and churches.

First Coast Team Members

Joanne Alicea, CEO

Joanne Alicea

Joanne is our Chief Executive Officer and the parent of a spunky boy with Down syndrome and a creative teenage girl with ADD & Learning Disability. Joanne believes in the collaboration of individuals, families, and the communities they live in to work together to create a culture of support, inclusion, and personal growth. She does presentations on disabilities awareness in various settings, including symposiums, churches, hospitals, business groups, and schools. With Joanne’s background in case management & support coordination, she provides great insight for those needing to understand more about disability resources and education.

Alexus Barnhart, Ability Tree Intern

Alexus Barnhart

Alexus is a Flagler College senior, majoring in journalism and multimedia production.  She is a self-advocate, having a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, a condition that affects muscle tone and spasticity. Throughout her time at Flagler, Alexus has taken interest in covering disability issues. Her hope is to encourage a more inclusive community. Alexus joined Ability Tree First Coast as the journalism intern, stating she loves ATFC’s mission and wants others to know the heart of Ability Tree through her writing.

Kelly Wilkinson, Camp Teacher

Kelly Wilkinson

Kelly is our lead teacher for CampAbility Special Day Camp. She has an extensive history teaching children with special needs in the school system both in NC and FL. She has a passion for children to reach their fullest potential and looks forward to pouring into the lives of our campers each summer. She has her degree and is certified in Special Education, is a Florida Certified Infant Toddler Disabilities Specialist, and is certified in CPR/AED/First Aid, as well as Safe Crisis Management. 

Board of Directors

Ability Tree is led by a team of people passionate about the mission. Our volunteers are the heart of the organization.


Joanne Alicea

Ability Tree First Coast, Inc.

Angela Barnes

Barnes Interactive, Inc.

Jeannie Petty

Professional ASL Interpreter

Cheryl Freeman

Director of RSVP/Volunteer Services
St. Johns County School District

Resource Development Council

Ability Tree’s Council empowers the organization to continue its mission by searching and securing resources from various entities and on multi-platforms.


Joshua Johnson,  Sandy Frey,  Becki West,  Johanna Lugo, Best  Buddies Flagler College

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Proud member of

St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce

Proud recipient of

Guide Star Silver Level Seal of Approval


ARKANSAS (National)
P.O. Box 6929
Siloam Springs, AR 72761

1311 Ferris Ave, Suite A
Waxahachie, TX 75167

P.O. Box 480
Windsor 08561


14391 Spring Hill Dr. #192
Spring Hill, FL 34609

96 Masters Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32084


Ability Tree is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.