Judge Joan Anthony
“Make your comeback stronger than your setback”
Joan Anthony, 63, was born in Westmoreland, Jamaica. She’s a caring, committed, and tenacious woman who never gives up and isn’t afraid to take on a challenge. (Although sometimes that blind courage gets her in a little over her head.) Nonetheless, she is someone who firmly believes in never giving up on yourself and in positive thinking.
Growing up in Jamaica was much different than growing up in America. The Jamaican school system had a much different set of rules and regulations. Joan recalls wearing a school uniform every day, having to walk or ride her bike to school because there was no school bus, and receiving spankings from her principal if she was late. (They were spanked on the palms of their hands.) Another distinct memory she has is having to walk home for lunch every day. “What I remember… was not going home one day. That was a big mistake and oh boy did I pay for it. My mom beat me so hard I was still hurting the next day, because I decided that I wanted to walk to my friend’s parent’s home for lunch, instead of going home.”
Some of Joan’s best childhood memories were when her father would return home from America after working on a farm. She looked forward to all the interesting souvenirs he’d bring back for her. Joan considers her parents to be her biggest influences on her personal development, as they were uneducated, yet they still worked tirelessly to provide her with the best education possible.
In life, one of Joan’s greatest achievements was raising her children to be successful. She’s extremely proud of her son, 26-year-old Nathaniel Anthony, and her daughter, Dymond Anthony, a 28-year-old attorney. Another great achievement of hers was receiving her acceptance letter to Howard University School of Law, where she received a degree and then went on to own a law practice for many years before becoming a Circuit Court Judge. In the future, she hopes to retire and travel around the world.
“Make your comeback stronger than your setback” – a motto Joan lives by. She reflects on when she lost her professional license to practice law. “I was devastated to say the least, but with God all things are possible, and I did not lose my faith. I kept my head high and made the decision that life goes on, and unless we go through a test, we cannot have a testimony.” From there, Joan faced many financial challenges, as law was her source of income with which she provided for her family. Still, she decided to take each day as a blessing, and, thankfully, she was able to secure a job with a law firm, working as a legal assistant.
Joan Anthony is a community activist, a member of Hope Fellowship Church, the Victory Center, the
Volusia and St. Johns County Bar Association, the Hatchett Bar Association, and so much more. In her expert opinion, it’s so important to never give up on yourself, regardless of what your situation looks like. Because, if you set your heart on it, you can overcome any obstacle.