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Elaine's Commitment to Education


Elaine with her sponsored students Estefani, Katerin, Urie, and Daniela, all 2023 graduates.

Elaine's story as a sponsor is one of a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of others. From her early days growing up to her retirement years, Elaine has embodied the values of kindness and a willingness to embrace new challenges. As she eloquently puts it, "If a door closes, there is another door that is going to open don't hesitate to walk through."

Elaine's philosophy on life is simple: resources are meant to be shared. Elaine's journey with Common Hope began in 1998, when she became interested in mission trips to Guatemala after a conversation during a class reunion. During the trip, she asked if she could tag along on a social work home visit, and that's how her journey with Common Hope started. Elaine has been on numerous trips since then, sponsored 24 students, 17 of whom have graduated, and currently is the proud sponsor of 5 students. When asked by some of her friends how she can still travel to Guatemala after 30 years, she answers, " It’s simple! You just need to board a flight and land either in Texas or Florida. From there, you can board another flight to Guatemala City, and then you are off to Antigua!"

 

Elaine's passion for empowering students shines brightly as she shares her hopes for the women participating in Common Hope's programs. Elaine envisions a future where women and men can find confidence, hope, and opportunities for growth. Through her experiences as a sponsor, she has seen firsthand the impact education can have in empowering students to create better futures for themselves and their families.


“I can't think of a better way to invest in the future than to invest in education and support students,” shares Elaine.

 

Elaine has a deep admiration for the women of Guatemala. She believes that by empowering women through education, they can become agents of change in their communities. Elaine's hope for the women participating in Common Hope's programs is that they will gain confidence and entrepreneurial skills that will enable them to thrive in the future.

 

Elaine's perspective on women's rights and empowerment has evolved over the years, shaped by her own experiences and interactions with the women in her life. She emphasizes the importance of going beyond one's comfort zone, taking risks, and surrounding yourself with positive relationships.


Elaine with sponsored student Fabio and his family.

Elaine reflected on her journey, and acknowledged the crucial role mentors and supportive relationships played in shaping her life. She shares that some of her experiences growing up mirror the experiences of students in Guatemala. At the age of 12, Elaine lost her father, and her mother recognized that she required additional support, so she enrolled her in 4-H.

 

“My 4H leader saw something in me that I didn't see. And she always challenged me to give 100% effort in everything I did.”

 

“The educational support program provided by Common Hope for students, and the educators in Guatemala who encourage students to pursue their dreams, help them to look outside themselves like my 4H mentor did for me,” continued Elaine

 

In the end, Elaine's message is clear: no act of kindness is too small. We can truly make a difference in the lives of others, one step at a time. Whether it's through acts of kindness, sponsorship, or mentorship, each of us has the power to make a difference in the lives of others.


Meet Elaine and hear more about her passion for Sponsorship at Noche de Colores 2024.

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