Mexoxo founder Elpida Kokkota, center, with students from the She is Digital Kenya program. 

Cornell, Mexoxo to empower 70,000 learners worldwide

Cornell and global nonprofit Mexoxo have teamed up to educate thousands of individuals, building a foundation for sustainable socioeconomic growth within vulnerable populations.

Through support from the L’Oréal Fund for Women, the collaboration will provide access to skills-based instruction to 70,000 participants in the United States, Latin America and international refugee communities. Program participants will complete online courses delivered through eCornell in leadership, entrepreneurship, time management and career exploration to prepare for post-secondary education, employment and civic involvement.

"Collaborating with eCornell is an imperative milestone for Mexoxo’s impact around the globe,” said Elpida Kokkota, founder and CEO of Mexoxo. “Together we envision democratizing education internationally. We aim for all our beneficiaries to receive education from this Ivy League institution.”

The joint endeavor is part of eCornell’s social impact programming, which provides educational opportunities to underserved students and working adults who otherwise might not have access to them. Strong alliances with organizations that focus on meeting social needs are essential to the programs’ success.

Mexoxo is eCornell’s first nonprofit partner to leverage Take the Lead, a new on-demand library offering nearly 20 hours of skills-based instruction. The content is designed for pairing with other social and educational programming and, along with localized NGO support, provides participants with a foundation for launching careers that earn a living wage.

By combining efforts, Cornell and Mexoxo will model how universities and nonprofits can work together to generate global economic change through education – particularly through remote learning, said Joanne Troutman, director of social impact programs for eCornell.

“Our work with Mexoxo extends Cornell’s expertise in delivering exceptional online education into communities where increased accessibility to higher learning is a necessity,” Troutman said. “We believe in the power of education to transform lives. This program will break down barriers and provide people with skills that will help launch educational, professional and personal journeys.”

Since its launch in Tijuana, Mexico in 2013, Mexoxo has supported more than 31,000 participants through training initiatives in information technology, project management, digital marketing, tourism and entrepreneurship. Mexoxo is one of the L'Oréal Fund for Women’s 120 international on-the-ground partners. Through relationships with corporations, universities and outreach groups embedded in the communities it serves, Mexoxo expects to educate 5 million by 2030.

Mexoxo courses have proven to be life changing. Among the organization’s clients are learners from India who have completed certificates at no cost, bypassing the financial hurdle of college, and others from Kenya who used skills from the programs to secure home ownership.

Students who enroll with eCornell through Mexoxo will complete on-demand, asynchronous courses. Participants will identify their personal strengths and use them to take the next steps in their lives. For some, those steps will include earning full certificates from Cornell.

“A person’s socioeconomic capacity should not define their destiny,” Kokkota said. “Together with eCornell and the L’Oréal Fund for Women, we pave the path of change for anyone around the world who wishes to unleash their potential by finding their calling and achieving socioeconomic growth for themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Torie Anderson is a writer for eCornell.

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