Endlessly Empowered by our Family Experience Leaders: Get to Know Their Hearts

Family Experience Leaders empower our families, and connect them with valuable resources in the community. We are privileged to have such hard-working AmeriCorps members that serve our families. We cannot thank them enough for their diligent selflessness and determination to assist our strong families in any way necessary. Let’s meet our 2020-2021 Family Experience Leaders!

Erin Gowen 

Our very first Family Experience Leader that we will introduce you to is Erin Gowen! She is from Dacula, Georgia, and she’s excited to meet new people at ESP, and get involved in all that this position offers. At ESP, Erin is an important member of the Social Club, and she worked on summer staff this past summer as part of the purple site. She wanted to spend more time at ESP with both the participants and families, so she decided to join our AmeriCorps Family!

She aspires to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to help people with disabilities. Erin is excited about the opportunities, experiences, and connections that being an AmeriCorps member will give her. 

Hunter Reynolds

Hunter is from Sandersville, Georgia and is a familiar face here at ESP, since he volunteered in Fall 2019, completed an internship under Kalon in Spring 2020, and worked in Summer 2020 as well! Hunter wasn’t ready to leave ESP just yet, so he joined the Family Experience Leader crew! One of his future goals is to work as a Recreational Therapist for individuals with disabilities to help them succeed in their future endeavors. He is already a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, so ESP is helping him gain the experience he needs to be a successful therapist. Hunter enjoys the program motto ‘play with a purpose’ here at ESP, which also applies to his career pathway. An interesting fact about Hunter is that he can clap with only one hand! 

Maddie Blessing

Maddie is from Lawernceville, Georgia, and ESP has become a second home to her! Maddie has previously been a Volunteer Intern under Hunter, on summer staff at the purple site, and a volunteer. She is extremely passionate about this community, and it shows in her hard-working mentality. After graduating from UGA, she decided to stay and become a Family Experience Leader! Maddie teaches the adulting Corps class where participants learn important skills including: how to build a resume, interview etiquette, communication skills, and much more! She loves getting to know all of our amazing families, and assisting them in any way they need.

As a future goal, Maddie would love to become an Occupational Therapist, and this AmeriCorps position will help her gain the experiences and connections within the community. We are beyond excited to have her here for another year!

Nithin Reddy 

Nithin grew up in Forsyth County, Georgia, and made his way to Athens to join the ESP family. He wanted to become an AmeriCorps member to increase his knowledge, and apply his own knowledge to enrich the lives of all current and future families in our community! Nithin will be the leader of the new parent meetings, driving the shuttles, and Power Hour technology class. These jobs are incredibly important to our ESP families, and we couldn’t do it without him! In the future, Nithin would like to attend medical school and attain a specialization in treatment of children with disabilities. A fun fact about Nithin is his favorite ice cream flavor is double vanilla!

Cathleen Hoffman

Cathleen is from Sharpsburg, Georgia and she is thrilled to form long lasting relationships with our families. She was at the blue site this summer and has been a long-time volunteer. Cathleen is hoping to learn and grow through this AmeriCorps position. She is currently pursuing her passion of being a Child Life Specialist, and she plans on going to graduate school after her time as an AmeriCorps Member. 

Currently at ESP, Cathleen teaches the adulting class with Maddie, and will also be leading our Giving Tree this season. Being a Family Experience Leader will enable her with the tools needed to succeed in her future careers! 

Sarah Farriba

Sarah is from Macon, Georgia, and we enjoy her presence immensely! She interned with Tyler last year in the Spring, and she was a red site member during Camp this past summer, so she is another sweet face that we all know and love. Sarah will also be coordinating our Fall Festival this year!

She aspires to be an Occupational Therapist, and will attend Graduate School after her time as an AmeriCorps Member. She believes that being a Family Experience Leader will help her improve her communication and leadership skills! She is always ready to serve her community, and our families with a sense of compassion. Something unique about Sarah is she spent a summer teaching people how to horseback ride!