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…
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!
On the trip, I fell in love with Guatemala—its landscapes, the people—and came away even more taken by CoEd. I was struck most by the focus on education, which addresses the causes rather than the symptoms of poverty, along with the sustainability and community involvement. I remember having a conversation with Jeff [Berninger] on the tour and expressing my interest in working for CoEd after college someday.
It was almost 7 years later, after graduating from college and traveling and researching abroad, that I attended a CoEd cocktail party in Dayton and was surprised that Joe and Jeff remembered me after all those years—and they even remembered that I’d wanted to work for them. I started working less than two weeks later!
What inspires you to work for CoEd?
The people. All of them. I’ve found that there’s a collective energy in the organization that keeps us moving forward. I feel incredibly blessed to work toward a mission that I’m passionate about in an organization that is ethically and efficiently run, surrounded by people that inspire me and genuinely care about each other. I’d have trouble imagining a better job.
Plus, just look at the smiles on the students’ faces. Who wouldn’t be inspired?
Is there a part of your job that you are especially excited about?
I’m really excited about my role in developing our Scholarship & Youth Development Program, which we’re expanding to several times its current size. We’re working on building on the existing program to provide even more youth development to the students, developing skills and qualities beyond what they learn in the classroom that will allow them to be leaders in their communities and contributors to a brighter future for Guatemala.
Thanks for the insight, Katie. We’re lucky to have you on the team!