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Courtney McGovern

Executive Director | HOPE'S IN

"My long-term vision for the City of Chicago is that we, as a community, would continue to empower one another to reach our potential, inspire our next generation of youth to love their neighbors better than we ever did through service, and grow as an epicenter for innovation in diverse fields and expertise."


Undergraduate Degree: New York University, '18

Fun fact: I have a twin sister named Ashley and she is one of my best friends.

When Courtney McGovern was just 10 years old, she fell in love with service. Courtney's family built two playgrounds that year in Guatemala. Courtney became passionate about Guatemala and knew she wanted the country and the people she met there to be in her life forever. Though she and her family traveled to other corners of the world building playgrounds, she eventually returned to Guatemala City when she was 14 and has been dedicated to empowering families in the city's garbage dump communities ever since. At age 16, Courtney and her twin sister, Ashley, co-founded an organization called HOPE'S IN.

HOPE'S IN's mission is to empower families in Guatemala City as well as develop the next generation of humanitarian leaders. HOPE'S IN has built 35 homes in Guatemala City — in partnership with the Guatemalan organization, Potters House Association — run 10 weeks of medical clinics, launched a support group for teen mothers, co-created an alliance that equips advocates for children with disabilities, piloted a service learning program for a Chicagoland area public school, and has brought over 400 Chicagoland area students and their families to serve in Guatemala City.

In January of 2018, Courtney graduated from New York University with a degree in nonprofit management. Upon graduation, she became the first full-time employee of HOPE'S IN. Courtney is a storyteller at heart. From a TEDx presentation to quiet coffee shops, Courtney eagerly shares all she's learned from families in Guatemala and helps others discover their service passions.