Thrive | Emerge™


Meet Joanna Balz Hokama, M.S., CNS, LDN, CPCC

Joanna Balz HokamaJoanna Balz Hokama, M.S., CNS, LDN, CPCC, is a licensed dietitian-nutritionist, certified career coach, academic specialist and life skills educator at the THRIVE Center for Emerging Young Adults. Joanna received her undergraduate degree in Family Science from the University of Maryland, a masters degree in Nutrition and Integrative Health from Maryland University of Integrative Health, and earned her certificate in career coaching from the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. In addition, Joanna has over a decade of experience providing disability support services to students at the University of Maryland in College Park.

As a clinical nutritionist whose interests include nutrition and the role it plays in mental health, Joanna has experience working with people of all ages, including children, adolescents and adults. Her philosophy is rooted in integrative health, a discipline that combines the best of conventional and alternative approaches and focuses on the individual as a whole instead of on isolated symptoms. An opponent of fad diets, Joanna works with clients to make lifestyle changes that promote healthy, long-term results.

As a career coach, Joanna provides one-on-one training tailored to the specific needs of every individual, whether it's finding a job, maintaining a job, or transitioning to a new career. In addition, Joanna offers continued support during employment by preparing clients to successfully navigate job-related issues, such as salary negotiation, the hiring and onboarding process and asking for a promotion or raise.

As an academic specialist, Joanna helps clients prepare for college and beyond by identifying the right educational fit -- trade school, community college, a four-year university, or graduate program -- applying to schools, applying for academic accommodations, registering for classes, and successfully completing school work. In addition, Joanna provides support to clients struggling in college, including students who are on academic probation or dismissal, by identifying what went wrong and creating a plan for readmission.

As a life skills educator, Joanna delivers skills-based group education to young adults preparing for independent living. In order to master the topics highlighted in the classroom, Joanna and the life skills group are often out and about in the community, practicing these skills in real-time.

When Joanna isn't working, she enjoys spending time with her family, trying new restaurants and traveling.