Empowerment & Extra Special People
Extra Special People (ESP) is an organization at the University of Georgia that exists to help connect students with local individuals involved with the program. Based in Watkinsville, members of ESP serve individuals with developmental disabilities. ESP at UGA also supports Extra Special People through fundraising and raising awareness. Beginning last semester as new members of Alpha Omicron Pi, Brynn Pugh, Ashley Park, and Kristen Farmer jumped right into serving the loving community of special people.
Each of the women set time out of one day of each week to go and spend time with their buddies. Every volunteer is assigned a “buddy” at the beginning of the semester with whom they meet every week. Brynn mentioned, “We hangout, sing songs, play games, do art, theater, all kinds of activities and it is so much fun." The most amazing part about this organization is getting to see true joy in every person that participates.
The organization also provides unique opportunities for these developmentally disabled individuals; events that they would probably not be capable of attending without such an amazing program. One of their events last semester was meeting the football team; Brynn’s buddy at the time was able to meet the quarterback, Jacob Eason. It seemed at the time as if nothing could have made him happier. Because the participants of Extra Special People love it so much, they are really able to raise awareness simply by word of mouth and the joy within them. As we are beginning a new semester, the organization is continuing to grow foster support that is not only spreading throughout the members, but also within the volunteers as well.