Archive for the ‘CoEd Staff’ Category

Now Presenting…Our New Director of International Programs

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Ladies and gentlemen, people of good will and lovers of all things Guatemala, it is our distinct pleasure to present to you the newest member of CoEd’s senior staff. A long-time advocate for students and families, she’s worked on three continents, racked up almost a decade’s worth of international development experience, and has been a CoEd supporter since before she could vote. We’re beyond excited to re-introduce you to CoEd’s new Director of International Programs: Katie Camillus!

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150,000 Students Served

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

What does it feel like to help 150,000 students in Guatemala? That’s right, we’re asking YOU, because you’ve been a key part of CoEd’s success!

Comment below with your answer, then scroll back up and read or listen as CoEd founders Joe and Jeff respond to the same question.

(Note: If you’re on mobile and don’t want to listen in the SoundCloud app, click “Listen in browser.”)

Joining in late? Listen from the beginning.


What Mom and Dad Said

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to start your own nonprofit organization and grow it successfully for 20 years? Last month we posted the first part of our interview with Cooperative for Education founders Joe and Jeff Berninger. They talked about what inspired them to improve education in Guatemala, how they came up with the model for CoEd’s first program, and what finally convinced them to launch a nonprofit.

This month, Joe and Jeff explain how their parents reacted when they left the corporate world and give us a glimpse into all that it takes to get a fledgling nonprofit organization off the ground.

Listen podcast-style to the snippet below or scroll down to read the full transcript. (Scroll down regardless to see photos.)

Note: If you’re on mobile and don’t want to listen in the SoundCloud app, click “Listen in browser.”

Joining in late? Listen from the beginning.

Joe (center), Jeff (right), and their older brother John (left)


The Moment of Inspiration

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to start your own nonprofit organization and grow it successfully for 20 years? In celebration of our 20th anniversary, one of our newest staff members sat down to interview the brothers who started it all. Stay tuned through this blog series to learn what kept Jeff in Guatemala, what mom and dad said when their boys switched from corporate to nonprofit, and why Jeff running over a chicken is one of Joe’s favorite moments in CoEd history.

Listen podcast-style to the snippet below or scroll down to read the full transcript for part 1. (Scroll down regardless to see some excellent throwback photos.)

Note: If you’re on mobile and don’t want to listen in the SoundCloud app, click “Listen in browser.”


Spotlight on Katie Camillus, U.S. Staff

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Katie Camillus joined the CoEd team in October of 2009. As the International Programs and Research Coordinator, she manages the evaluation of CoEd’s programs, researches best practices to develop progress in our programs, and serves as a support liaison to the teams in Guatemala. But Katie’s involvement with CoEd started long before her position as a staff member


Katie, hard at work in Guatemala.

Tell us about your very first CoEd Tour and how you first got involved. 

When I was a senior in high school, CoEd came to my church group to give a presentation. I was impressed and intrigued by their mission and the Project Tours. I was so excited when I convinced my dad to let me go on tour in 2003! (more…)

Heydi Chancho: Leading by Example

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

How many girls play teacher when they are little? Assigning homework to stuffed animals and diligently grading fake exams, happily dreaming about a future when it all becomes reality. Heydi Chancho Sirin was no different. “I used to set sticks and sheets of paper in front of trees as if they were pencils and notebooks. The trees were my students,” she says, laughing. “I wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember.”


Our confident Heydi in action with the girls she helps in the Scholarship and Youth Development program.

Without Cooperative for Education’s (CoEd’s) Scholarship & Youth Development Program, Heydi, like so many children in Guatemala, would have been stuck playing pretend forever. Her father died when she was 10, leaving their family with a deep emotional and financial void. “My mom said that I could only study until sixth grade, and then I had to start helping her sell vegetables at the market,” Heydi remembers. “I was devastated.”

Throwback Thursday: Early Computer Center Shipments

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Have you ever wondered how the very first CoEd Computer Centers received their computers? Wait, what am I saying? Of course you have!

Well, my friends, we used to collect donated computers and ship them to Guatemala ourselves (with some much appreciated help from partner organizations). Although these early shipments were successful and helped launch our first Computer Centers, we’ve since taken a slightly less back-breaking approach, and now purchase computers in Guatemala. This:

A) Helps the local economy.

B) Ensures that all the computers are brand new and uniform, making maintenance and networking more efficient.

C) Frees up our time for awesome arts and crafts projects!

Computer Shipment to Guatemala

It was on this day that Jessica figured out an even better use for the computers – sitting on them.

Check out this email from co-founder Joe Berninger about one of CoEd’s earliest experiences with shipping computers down to Guate:  (more…)

Spotlight on Paul Porcino, CoEd Board Member

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Paul Porcino is, to put it mildly, pretty dang awesome. We know you will agree after reading about his experience on three CoEd tours to Guatemala and his decision to join CoEd’s Board of Trustees. Paul, we’re lucky to have you on our team… and not just for the Graeter’s ice cream you sometimes bring in… although that certainly doesn’t hurt. :)

Paul Porcino

Paul cheezin’ for the camera during his last CoEd Project Tour in Guatemala.

Name: Paul Porcino

Hometown: Commack (Long Island), New York

What originally motivated you to get involved with CoEd’s projects? 

The CoEd team gave a presentation at Incarnation Parish in Centerville, OH. My wife and I were very impressed and joined a tour to Guatemala. The tour included a wonderful group of participants, as well as US and Guatemalan staff. After seeing, hearing, and discussing all that was going on in CoEd, I was pleased to be asked to participate on the Board of Trustees.

What was your most memorable trip to Guatemala? (more…)

Guatemala Scholarship Program Success Story, Fredy Tzib

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Fredy Tzib didn’t think he was going to be able to stay in school past the sixth grade. But somehow he graduated from high school, found a great job, and is enrolled in college. How is this possible? 

CoEd’s Scholarship & Youth Development program, of course! Fredy is just one of the hundreds of Guatemalan students who have been able to stay in school and break the cycle of poverty thanks to CoEd’s wonderfully generous sponsors. Take a peek at the short video below to see how Fredy’s life has been forever changed by YOUR generosity. You’ll never guess who he’s working for… :)

A huge shout out to RYAN VAN DUZER for putting this video together for us. Now that you’ve seen what a major difference a CoEd scholarship makes, meet the students who are still waiting for sponsors. Sponsor a student today!

Sponsor a Student

What is the best (or worst!) job you’ve ever had?

Spotlight on Ann Dempsey, U.S. CoEd Staff and the brains behind this blog!

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Ready to meet the brains behind Bookmarks?!

Ever since Ann Dempsey became CoEd’s Development Manager in 2008, she has been an integral part of the team. She does EVERYTHING, from marketing and fundraising initiatives to projects that utilize her techie background—we would be lost without her ability to troubleshoot our never-ending tech problems! Ann’s favorite projects include involving Josh and Chuck of Stuff You Should Know to raise money through their podcast, and launching this blog!

Ann with a student

Ann cheezin’ for the camera with a student from Santiago Sacatepequez

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Hobbies and interests: Reading, spending time with family and friends, and volunteering

What inspires you to work for CoEd?

Between high school and college, I went on a service trip to the Dominican Republic, and lived for two weeks with a host family in a poor, rural village. It was a life-changing experience. I learned that we all need to pitch in together, using the gifts that we have  to help those that don’t even have the opportunity to get an education, much less escape poverty. I came out of the experience empowered with a true commitment to follow the mandate: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” (more…)