Applications are now closed (class is full!)


In this class for teen girls and gender-expansive youth, we invite students to learn and practice their carpentry, welding, and fabrication skills in service of social justice organizations in our community. This class is open to 9th-12th grade students who are either brand new to Girls Garage or who have participated in a previous introductory program, such as the Young Women’s Design and Building Institute, or Carpentry + Woodworking. Construction + Community will meet as a cohort of 12 students over an 8-week session. Masks and distancing will be required; please help keep everyone safe by observing our COVID-19 guidelines. Applications open August 1st, and will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is fully enrolled.

Our fall session will include one take-home project and one service project, in which we will work together to build a functional built project for a community client. Previous projects have included bookshelves for a nearby transitional housing shelter, benches for a tiny home village and People’s Park in Berkeley, and more.

*“Girls” refers to gender-expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth, and any girl-identified youth).


Construction + Community was created as a school-year program for 9th-12th grade girls and a complement to our Young Women’s Design and Building Institute. The course, taking place in three 8-week sessions over the school year, invites high school girls and gender-expansive youth with an interest in architecture, construction trades, design, and engineering, to learn technical construction skills in the context of community service. The program is free for participants, and we also build our projects pro-bono for community clients, focusing on the power of applying our construction skills towards the mutual aid and benefit of our entire community. For students interested in pursuing college pathways or careers in STEM, the trades, design, or architecture, this course is a hands-on exploration of what it means to physically construct the environments in which our community thrives. Using personal power and power tools, we are also building our community, one project at a time.

The cohort of 12 students is led by Executive Director Emily Pilloton-Lam and Shop and Project Manager Augusta Sitney, both of whom have 10-15 years experience in architecture, construction, metal fabrication, and teaching. We also spend time as a group discussing and practicing positive collaboration skills, reflecting on our identities within the work, and how we can best apply our skills towards the goals of equity, inclusion, and community benefit.

Program Quick Facts
  • When: Thursdays, 3 after-school sessions (Fall, Winter, Spring)
  • Who: 16-24 students per year, 9th-12th grade, currently 82% students of color
  • What: 3 community-based construction projects per year
  • How: By online application each season
  • Cost: Free
  • Instructors: Emily Pilloton-Lam, Augusta Sitney