Katie Go ’22 will continue to pursue non-profit success post-Commencement
It was in Anke Wessels’ practicum where Katie Go ’22 discovered a title she aspired to: social entrepreneur.
Go embodies the title now as co-founder of IBlieve, a global education non-profit that supports high school International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program students — especially in low-income, lower-resourced communities. Go says she and her co-founder launched IBlieve in March 2020 to address educational inequalities that were exacerbated by the pandemic.
“We immediately connected over the idea of giving back and helping other students discover their potential,” Go says.
Today IBlieve is a team of 80 volunteers on a mission to equip students with free, high-quality resources and mentorship, driven by a vision in which any student can succeed, she says.
“The Cornell Entrepreneurship community has also connected me with wonderful mentors and resources I wouldn’t have learned about otherwise” — Katie Go ‘22
“The IB program cultivates a unique value that strongly resonates with me: global mindedness. The program hopes to nurture ‘global citizens’ who are open-minded and curious about different cultures around the world,” Go says. “I’ve found my IB education has been a grounding reminder of how big our world is — which is one reason I chose to pursue my university education abroad.”
The Class of 2022 graduate will continue to pursue her non-profit post-Commencement.
“This summer I’ll be a Blackstone Launchpad Fellow, where I’ll receive mentorship, educational training and prize money to pursue IBlieve,” Go says.
Her experience at Cornell has been instrumental in the pursuit of IBlieve’s success, with financial support from several Cornell grants over the last two years, including a CIS Dream Grant and Contribution Project.
“The Cornell Entrepreneurship community has also connected me with wonderful mentors and resources I wouldn’t have learned about otherwise,” Go says.
Cornell coursework has shaped her journey, as well. Courses like Designing New Ventures with Ken Rother, Tom Schryver and Steven Gal introduced her to startup thinking and helped refine her entrepreneurial skills. A class in computing and global development with Aditya Vashistha opened her eyes to unique frameworks to approach implementing technological solutions in under-resourced communities. Wessels’ practicum on social entrepreneurship transformed the way she approached tackling problems through a social impact lens. Building Inclusive Computing Organizations with Sharlane Cleare inspired her to become a more empathetic leader and make IBlieve more inclusive.
While financial resources and knowledge have been vital to Go and IBlieve, so has inspiration and mentorship.
“I have also been deeply inspired by female entrepreneurs, including Anke Wessels, LeeAnn Roberts, and Pam Silverstein,” says Go. “They’ve all encouraged me at different stages of my Cornell journey, and I feel so grateful to have met and learned from them.”
Go says she will graduate from Cornell with more confidence than ever in who she is, what matters to her and the impact she hopes to make on the world.
Cornell’s Class of 2022 has a great deal to be proud of: They have worked hard to forge their futures and make their mark, all the while finding success and demonstrating great resolve through a host of challenges, including the historic adversity of pursing their degrees during a pandemic.
Read more about this incredible group of Cornellians.
Written by Jesse Osbourne
Strategic Communications at Cornell University