Causes & Giving, Featured, Hope's In, Volunteers in Action

Barrington Teacher Helps Hope’s In Empower Families Living in Zone 3, Guatemala City Garbage Dump

Barrington Teacher Helps Hope’s In Empower Families Living in Zone 3, Guatemala City Garbage Dump

With the 9th annual Hope’s in Style fashion show fundraiser is coming up virtually from 1-3 this Sunday, April 11th, we’re learning more about some of Hope’s In‘s dedicated volunteers. Volunteers like Elizabeth Robbins, a Barrington High School special ed teacher who is helping Hope’s In develop programs for vulnerable female children and adults living in Guatemala City’s garbage dump community.

Click here to reserve your tickets to the virtual fashion show today.

Will you share a little about the work you do in Barrington?

Elizabeth Robbins: My name is Elizabeth Robbins. I have been a special education teacher for about 28 years, I am in the middle of my 20th-year at Barrington High School. My focus with the students is to get them to apply executive functioning and social learning strategies so they can be as independent as they can be for the next part of their journey post-high school.

How did you learn about HOPE’S IN?

Elizabeth Robbins: Courtney and I have known each other since she volunteered in my Lunch Buddy program at BHS. Courtney was able to befriend her peers in a supportive environment during her lunch hour. I recognized the compassion and sincerity she had back then to help children be more involved in the school and social settings.

What do you do as a volunteer at HOPE’S IN?

Elizabeth Robbins: I am currently working with Courtney to support, through training, residential employees who help at-risk female children and adults become more productive within their community. We are currently working with a panel of educators to help come up with programs and training that support their clients’ behaviors and emotions.

What types of things are you involved with outside of Hope’s In?

Elizabeth Robbins: I am also a consultant for FUTURE SLTP. FUTURE Social Learning Transition Planning is a program that helps clients prepare for their post-secondary goals using both individualized and group programming. We currently work with clients from elementary ages to adulthood.

What is one thing you’ve learned from your experiences with HOPE’S IN?

Elizabeth Robbins: I have learned that I am personally fortunate to have the support that I have had both from my family and through education. Do not take things for granted, there are so many who have so little, yet continue to have the drive to keep going. I am proud to support Courtney and Hope’s In, it has been incredible to see her high school aspirations develop into what it is now and her continued mission to help others in Guatemala.

Why do you think it is important to help others?

Elizabeth Robbins: I feel like everyone should have a fair shot at what they want to do. I have observed throughout my experiences in teaching and consulting that people struggle everyday. If I can provide them a strategy or have teach them a lesson that they can use to level the playing field to achieve their dream, I would like to help them with that. Sometimes it is simple and then there are times when it takes multiple steps, but I believe that if they want it they should have a shot.

Founded by twin sisters and Barrington High School alums, Courtney McGovern and Ashley Quigley, Hope’s In’s 9th annual Hope’s in Style fashion show fundraiser is coming up this Sunday. The goal is to raise $75,000 to build homes and develop programs to support families living in Guatemala’s Zone 3, the Garbage Dump Community.

To-date, the Hope’s In Style fashion show has raised $325,000 and funded the construction of 43 cinderblock homes. Courtney McGovern says the Covid pandemic has made living conditions even more dangerous for the Guatemalan families they serve. As schools and businesses shut down, the community’s one municipal water supply became overwhelmed, leading to widespread shortages of clean water. With students out of classrooms, families became even more vulnerable to cycles of crime, teen pregnancy, drug, alcohol and domestic abuse. Courtney says our support will help Hope’s In further develop programs to bring these families much needed shelter and relief.

For the first time, this year’s fashion show is VIRTUAL and coming up from 1-3 p.m. this Sunday, April 11th! The theme for this year’s event is Hope’s In Style: Masquerade, Hope Disguised.

Click here to reserve your tickets to the virtual fashion show today.

About a hundred Barrington High School student stylists, models and volunteers have been busy producing the show, filmed at various locations around town. High school students will share their experiences during the pandemic and the challenges they faced. They will also share the hope they discovered unexpectedly during the pandemic and how it has made them even more empathetic and motivated changemakers.

Click here to reserve your tickets to the virtual fashion show today.

If you’d like to support Hope’s In’s efforts to help these families, click here to support Sunday’s Hope’s In Style fashion show or click here to join the Hope’s In Catalyst Club, a monthly giving program to provide support for as little as $1.17 per day. Learn more about Hope’s In’s mission and programs at

Co-founded in 2012 by twin sisters, Courtney McGovern & Ashley Quigley during their junior year at Barrington High School, HOPE’S IN is dedicated to impacting and empowering the Guatemala City garbage dump communities and developing the next generation of humanitarian leaders. To-date, Hope’s In volunteers have built dozens of safe homes and inspired hundreds of student volunteers to travel to Guatemala to help bring hope to families living in poverty. Learn more about the mission at

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