Katherine Stievater founded Gap Year Solutions to help students successfully transition to college with a customized plan that builds life skills through “Real World Learning”. She is a professional member of IECA, and has written articles about the myths and benefits of gap years. Katherine has conducted site visits with numerous gap year programs, including most recently in Argentina. In addition to founding and leading several community organizations in her home town of Belmont, MA, Katherine has served on various boards and had a successful career as a retail buyer, including with Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Katherine was inspired to play a leadership role within the gap year community as a result of her experiences with today’s teens and her family. She has been serving as an alumni interviewer for applicants to Georgetown University for many years. Her four boys have helped her see firsthand the increasing levels of stress and anxiety among today’s teens. Katherine’s oldest son spent his junior year of high school at a Spanish language school in Spain, and the second oldest completed a gap year before college which included three months in Cuba. She understands today’s students, the complex demands they face, and the transformative potential of a year off the traditional path. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for this growing field, and travels the country speaking to students and their parents at libraries, schools, NACAC and IECA conferences, and other events.