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.”

Coca-cola in a baggie

Ann reminisces, “I have a particularly strong memory of stopping at a little tienda near one of the schools to get a Coke, which was served in a plastic baggie!”

What was your most memorable trip to Guatemala? Why?

During a CoEd Tour in 2009, I got to tag along with the CORP team as they were recruiting new primary schools. In one day, we visited six schools. Not only was it cool to visit these tiny, mountaintop schools that few (if any) gringos had ever been to, the enthusiasm expressed by the teachers, parents, and principals was so evident. Even though the program wouldn’t officially start for several months, they wanted to start training right away.

As a working mother, how do you balance raising a family and your full-time job with CoEd?

I’m really proud to work for an organization that walks the talk on being family-friendly. One shining example of this is the special room built into our new Cincinnati office to support working mothers who need to express milk during the day for their nursing babies. The room has a lock, fridge, and a networked computer so that we can efficiently get our work done while making sure our babies’ needs are being met.

It’s easy to balance working full time with being a mom when you have truly supportive employers, co-workers, and policies (not to mention a supportive husband—thanks Ryan!). The support and flexibility I’ve received has only intensified my passion for working towards breaking the cycle of poverty for kids in Guatemala.


There’s no doubting the joy and passion Ann has for helping the kids in Guatemala.

Anything else you want readers to know about what’s happening at CoEd?

CoEd is one of the most efficient, professionally run nonprofits I’ve ever encountered. We really are making a difference in the lives of kids in Guatemala, and we’re doing so in a sustainable, responsible way. If you are at all interested in seeing this amazing program up close, I urge you to sign up for one of our Guatemala Tours. You never know how it could change your life!