Obama Foundation recognizes Cincinnati’s CoEd

Cincinnati’s Cooperative for Education (CoEd), founded by Joe and Jeff Berninger, started more than 23 years ago with a passion for young people south of our nation’s borders. CoEd created a method to improve quality of life and education — thus making Guatemala a place in which “one girl can lift four generations, one person at a time.”


It’s education that makes this success and thriving possible.


The Obama Foundation’s Global Girls Alliance, led by First Lady Michelle Obama, recognizes organizations that lead in educating girls. While CoEd educates both girls and boys, this recognition pays tribute specifically to CoEd’s work with girls.


The Global Girls Alliance, a program of the Obama Foundation, seeks to empower adolescent girls around the world through education, allowing them to achieve their full potential and transform their families, communities, and countries by engaging people around the world to take action to help adolescent girls and the grassroots leaders working to educate them.


Who Started CoEd:

In the early 1990s, Cincinnati brothers Joe and Jeff took a hiatus from their successful, private-sector careers at IBM and Procter & Gamble to travel the world. They were deeply impacted by the beauty, poverty, and people of Guatemala, and Jeff was inspired to volunteer as an English teacher in a rural middle school. There he saw classrooms without textbooks, teachers without training and support, students without resources. The seed for CoEd was planted.


What Is CoEd?

CoEd was selected by The Obama Foundation and recognized in the top one percent of critical organizations making an impact on girls’ education in the developing world. CoEd has positioned Guatemalan students to become leaders, providers, and parents, and to break out of poverty once and for all.


CoEd’s young people have rewritten the future for their families and communities because they have had access to greatly improved schools, critical learning materials, and in-depth educational opportunities. In less than two decades, CoEd has served more than 200,000 students, including more than 55,000 in this year alone.


CoEd graduates are positioning their country for the future — and one in which people will learn, thrive, and grow. The strength of their country contributes to the overall strength and peace of our world.


What Does CoEd do?

  • CoEd obliterates poverty for generations.
  • CoEd’s reading participants learn twice as much as their peers.
  • CoEd’s textbooks and learning materials make a difference.
  • CoEd leverages computer learning so students are equipped with 21st century skills.
  • CoEd’s students overcome educational and graduation hurdles and rise out of poverty.


“Our hope is that this recognition increases the awareness of CoEd and what we do for young people,” says Joe Berninger. “For each dollar raised, we can improve the lives of even more individuals — thus having an advanced global impact.”


“Our goal is to continue to create awareness about the unrealized potential that Guatemalans have,” he continues, “and to assist with necessary education to ensure that the generational cycle of poverty will be broken once and for all.”

Read more articles by Jennifer Mooney.

Jennifer Mooney is a reformed corporate communications senior executive. She has also worked in the advertising industry and founded The Mooney Group, LLC, a boutique public relations practice. She is an avid adventurer and traveler, which includes climbing/hiking, open water swimming, and downhill skiing. She is a downtown resident and is married to Donald Mooney. She has two grown daughters.

Signup for Email Alerts