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"Hope is a choice, once you choose it, anything is possible." - Christopher Reeves

I often say that sometimes you choose your job, and other times it chooses you. In my case, it chose me. I was 19 years old when I took over a non-profit serving individuals with disabilities in Northeast Georgia. 13 years, 25 semesters of programming, 300 staff, 400+ children, 4,680 days of fundraising, 10,000 managed volunteers and millions of dollars raised & a giant tractor-trailer load of hope later… I am thankful to still be here, learning lessons of leadership, fundraising and a working motherhood. Follow me as I walk in hope and share lessons along the way.

“It is the sweet, simple things of life that are the real ones after all.” - Laura Ingalls Wilder

If there is anything I have learned working with people with disabilities, it’s to pay attention and savor life’s small, simple and sweet moments. Whether it’s a moment at ESP or a moment at home, I am working on a collection of these moments that I can one day cherish again and again.

"Home is a sacred place." - Joanna Gaines


In my other life, I would be the worst-best interior designer in town. I have no true skill, experience or resume… but I love thrifting, a deal and the thrill of a space turning into something that makes you smile.





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My name is Laura Whitaker and I am currently the Executive Director of Extra Special People, Inc. in Watkinsville, GA.