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We are planning for the future, but with the impact of COVID-19 on our programs & events, we will stay in compliance with the CDC’s recommendations. If it’s determined that gatherings should be canceled, we will comply.

The partnership between Ability Tree First Coast and the communities in Northeast Florida is 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 is 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 CampWe also 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. In the future, we will offer activities including sensory friendly activities, sibling groups, workshops, after-school care. 

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 over two decades, 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.

Joe & Jen Butler, Founders of Ability Tree

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.

Beth Sullivan, Camp Teacher

Beth Sullivan

Beth is our lead teacher for CampAbility Special Day Camp. She has 30+ years experience working with children with special needs in the school system and in the community. She also provides supports to teens and adults through respite, companionship, personal supports, and supported living. She has a desire for individuals to reach their fullest potential. She has experience with behavioral management and medically complex individuals. She is certified in CPR/AED/First Aid, as well as Medication Administration.

Jessenia Alicea, Teacher's Assistant

Jessenia Alicea

Jessenia ‘Jesse’ is our teacher’s assistant for CampAbility Special Day Camp. She had been volunteering with our camp for the first 4 years of its inception, and then was added to our staff in 2020. She is certified in CPR/AED and is in her senior year of the Teaching Academy at her high school. Jessenia is pursuing a career in ESE education. In addition to the volunteer work she does with ATFC, she he has a younger brother with Down syndrome. Jessenia’s experience working with children with special needs makes her a valuable asset to our team.  

Board of Directors

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


ATFC Board: Joanne Alicea, Angela Barnes, Jeannie Petty, Cheryl Freeman

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.