“I want to help blind people see themselves as an agent of change, whether in their own lives, within their families, among their friends or within their communities.”
For almost ten years, Harriet Go has held an office with the Pennsylvania affiliate and is now serving as Secretary for the second time. But her journey to becoming a staunch Federationist got off to a very slow start.
Upon graduating from Central High School in Philadelphia, Harriet heard about a scholarship program offered through the Pennsylvania affiliate and decided to apply. In 2002, she became one of the affiliate’s first two scholarship recipients.
Around that same time, Jim Antonacci, (then the PA affiliate president) invited Harriet to attend a Keystone chapter meeting. After about a year of Jim’s cajoling, Harriet finally came around. “I was always more on the outside looking in.”
The following year, 2003, Harriet received one of thirty scholarships offered through the National Federation of the Blind. “It was after that I really began to see the value and importance of joining the NFB.”
That enlightenment led to Harriet in 2012 receiving a second national scholarship where she was named a tenBroek fellow – a distinction reserved specifically for recipients receiving a scholarship for a second time.
“Since then, it’s just been a part of my life.”
So Harriet gradually but steadily started attending meetings, events, conventions, and helping with various projects.
One of her pet projects is running the BELL (Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning) program. BELL began nationally in 2009 and Harriet has led the Philadelphia site since its 2013 inception. All this and her other many achievements led to Harriet being named 2013 Blind Educator of the Year.
Born in the Philippines, Harriet came to the United States at only six weeks old at the urging of doctors there to receive better medical care for congenital glaucoma, a condition she has had since birth. While she is receiving the best medical attention possible, her condition remains the same. But it has only fueled her commitment to advocating for the blind and visually impaired community.
Harriet holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary and Special Education from Temple University. She teaches reading and math to elementary students with learning disabilities in the School District of Philadelphia. In 2015 she earned her Master’s degree in Elementary and Reading Literacy from Walden University.
An active member of her church, Harriett serves in the children’s ministry, teaching Sunday school and vacation bible school. She also enjoys exercising including running. She lives in Drexel Hill, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.
Contact Harriet at:
Written by Lisa Bryant