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Organization

Extra Special People, Inc. (ESP)

Contact Information

189 VFW Drive
Watkinsville, GA 30677

(706) 769-9333

Focus Areas

  • Disability

ESP creates opportunities for people with disabilities and their families to engage, connect, and thrive.

  • About Us
    ESP serves kids and adults of all ages and abilities, beginning at age 4, and with diagnoses of Down syndrome, Autism, Cerebral palsy, Spina bifida, and more. No participant is ever turned away from ESP because of their ability. Each year, we serve more than 400 participants and their families throughout 26 counties in Georgia through 8 weeks of summer camp, 19 after school enrichment programs, and ongoing family support. AmeriCorps members will enhance each of these programs and allow us to serve more kids of all abilities in Georgia more often.
  • Our Impact
    At ESP, we focus on ability, not disability. Our participants of all abilities become star athletes, play the lead roles in plays, get the chance to zip line through the trees at summer camp, and make lifelong friendships, all in an enviornment that is created just for them. Each day, our participants both create and experience transformative joy within our programs, changing all lives for the better.

    ESP will have 6 full-time AmeriCorps members who will improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families in Northeast Georgia through on-site and community job training and vocational experiences for adults with disabilities, increasing the number of individuals with disabilities and families who have access to support services and recreational programs through the provision of transportation and local outreach, increasing the number of program opportunities for individuals with disabilities and expanding family support opportunities to families of a child with a disability in Watkinsville, Georgia and the surrounding 26 counties in Northeast Georgia.

Extra Special People, Inc. (ESP) Programs

ESP Thrive Programs

ESP provides transformative experiences for individuals with disabilities all year long through our Thrive programs: 19 after school enrichment classes, monthly weekend events, and 8 weeks of summer camp. Our afterschool program, ESP 360, gives our participants the chance to become star athletes and lead roles in plays through classes like team sports, theatre, art, cooking, martial arts, movie making, and much more. ESP 360 provides purposeful recreation for our participants to learn new skills, gain confidence, strengthen their abilities, and make lasting friendships. Every month, we expand these opportunities into the evening and weekends, providing monthly events for our younger participants under 18, and for our adults over the age of 18. These activities provide much needed respite for our families while giving our participants the chance to go shopping together downtown, see a movie, attend a sports game, and more. Finally, our summer camp is our largest program, providing 4 weeks of day camp, 2 weeks of field trips, and 2 weeks of overnight camp, serving more than 250 campers each summer. For many of our campers, overnight camp is their first ever time away from home, giving them the chance to become best friends with their bunk mate, sing silly camp songs in the morning, share meals in the dining hall, rock climb through the high ropes course, and so much more.

Featured Positions
Java Joy Program Leader

Family Support Programs

In addition to serving our participants, ESP serves the entire family unit through our Family Support programs. This includes the provision of free family counseling through a partnership with a local counseling agency, monthly Spaghetti Suppers for our families to share a free meal together, Family Camp at a fully accessible beach in Florida to give our campers the joy of seeing the ocean while also giving our parents the time to form bonds together, and providing multiple avenues of respite through our Thrive programs. We also provide transportation to and from our Thrive programs to three of our low-income and rural communities to ensure we are meeting families where they are, and will continue to grow these transportation offerings each year. Finally, we strive to keep the costs of our programs as low as possible and provide various scholarship options to our families. For ESP, it costs $1,000 to provide one week of camp to one camper; yet, our parents pay anywhere from $5 to no more than $250. In addition to this reduced rate for all families, there are additional scholarships to families in need, and opportunities for families to earn program “credits” through active involvement in our programs and attending events like our monthly Spaghetti Suppers.

Featured Positions
Family Experience Leader