ESP Timeline
1986 1991 2004 2006 2012 2014 2016 2020 2022 2025+

1986

Martha Wyllie, ESP's founder, holds the first camp for people with developmental disabilities at ESP. She noticed an unequal amount of opportunities for children with disabilities, beginning ESP as one week of summer camp for only 21 participants. Programs took place in local schools, churches, jails, and community gathering spaces while Martha looked for a place for ESP to call home.

1991

a building with cars parked in front of it ESP building

ESP opens its own building on VFW Drive and starts serving participants in Watkinsville, Georgia. For two decades, ESP conducted all programming in this 1,600 square foot gym, with the number of participants growing each year.

2004

Martha Wyllie passes away, leaving behind a growing legacy and four post-it-notes with plans of ESP's future. The demand for more space grew as the gym limited the scope of our services and created accessibility barriers.

2006

Laura Hope Whitaker, previously a college volunteer, officially assumes the role of Executive Director. Read her ESP story here.

2012

ESP identified the need for wrap-around support including family support and year-round programming and created ESP 360. ESP 360 sparks connection through wrap-around programs to enrich the lives of people of all abilities and their families.

2014

a person holding a fishing pole by a body of water

In 2014, ESP was gifted a 70-acre camp property in Jackson County, Georgia with a vision for it to become the country's first universally accessible overnight camp, parent respite center, and recreation facility. As we dream about the future of our Jefferson, Georgia property, we keep the Hooray spirit alive through our yearly Hooray Camps that take place in Athens and Rome, Georgia.

2016

For two decades, ESP conducted all Athens programming in a 1,600 square-foot gym, with the number of participants growing each year. In June of 2016, after a $3 million capital campaign, ESP opened the doors to a new 14,000 square-foot Activity Building and renovated the original gym. As a result of two new spaces, ESP enrollment grew 25% immediately, allowing the abiltity to serve the hundreds of participants who now call ESP home. The same year, ESP expanded programs through the launch of Java Joy, a mobile coffee cart that employs adults with disabilities.

2020

a person standing next to a person holding a cup of coffee

ESP started its expansion to Atlanta and Rome, Georgia with their very first program, Java Joy, a mobile coffee cart that employs adults with developmental disabilities. Learn more about Java Joy HERE.

2022

a group of people posing for a photo

ESP opened the Miracle League Complex in Watkinsville, Ga., an extension of the National Miracle League nonprofit. The complex includes a universally accessible baseball field and the City of Watkinsvilleu2019s Playground of Possibilities, encouraging people of all abilities to play side by side with no limitations.rnrnCome by to play at the park, or join us for a Miracle League Game! (this will link to ML page with the calendar eventually)rnrnThe ESP Miracle League Complex is home of the Golden Pantry Snack Shack that is open every Saturday in the spring to sell Chick-fil-A biscuits, hot dogs snacks, drinks and more! Come by to play at the park, or join us for a Miracle League Game!

2025+

ESP is currently located in Athens, Rome and Atlanta, Georgia, and hopes to expand to three new cities in the next three years and break ground on our Camp Hooray property in Jefferson, Georgia. Interested in bringing ESP to your city? Check out our expansion process.