My name is JoeAnn Allen, but I was born in rural Alabama on December 10th, 1960 as JoeAnn Austin. I am the second youngest of 10 siblings born of Emma and Isaac Austin.
I took interests in mental health at a very young age because I noticed so much dysfunction in my own family and community. I realized at an early age I wanted to know ways to dissolve conflict and thought being a psychologist would help my crusade of peace within my own life and family.
In 1979 I was offered a full medical scholarship to Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1993 I moved to North Carolina. It was in 2003 during my work for a non-profit agency in Jacksonville, North Carolina as a Case Manager I realized again my love of the mental health field and decided it was time to work on finishing my education. In 2004 I graduated with a degree in Business from Mt. Olive College in Wilmington, North Carolina. The following year I earned my Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Webster University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Life would offer its’ own direction because I fell in love and it was shortly after this, I married my wonderful husband, Alfred Williams Allen, Staff Sargant United States Air Force in Jacksonville, North Carolina. With this marriage I joyfully gained a son Alfred Jr, and grandson, Juan Dixon, of whom both, I am very proud.
My entire family moved to South Florida in 2008 where we continue to do significant charity work with the Marines “Toys For Tots Program”, of which I am a proud Ambassador since 2006. I also work with many other local charities in the area raising funds for at-risk youths while mentoring homeless youth and adults with addiction and life challenges.
Currently, I work with Veterans at the Veterans Administration in Miami, Florida where they are loving being taught WRAP, but being a WRAP Facilitator increases EVERYTHING! I also travel through-out the United States as a motivational speaker sharing my own story of over-coming addiction, “late-life” relapse and homelessness, while becoming a change agent expert in this addiction field. I have always considered my stories unique but my storytelling is considered by many “humorous” yet fearless because they are so raw, so rare, so honest yet realistically in their own way, heals the soul!