1. We built a toolbox float filled with giant tools for the San Francisco Pride Parade. Our Young Women’s Design + Building Institute students constructed a gigantic toolbox float for the San Francisco Pride Parade. We were a sight to behold as we rolled down Market Street with our float and protest signs! 

    Girls Garage toolbox float built by the Young Women
  2. We built a bus stop in Vermont. Our Advanced Design/Build cohort trekked to Vermont to build a bus stop in partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School and the Vermont Transit Authority. The experience was filled with sawdust, swimming holes, and a whole lot of team bonding moments! 


  3. We built a derby car to race in the infamous SF MomA Soapbox Derby. Our Construction + Community class worked to refurbish a go-kart into a soapbox derby car, affectionately named “Red Rita.” Project and Shop Manager Augusta Sitney raced down the track in front of thousands of adoring fans, with our students running behind her as pit crew. 

    Girls Garage parade float
  4. Our staff took a 5-week paid sabbatical. It was our first season “off” in 9 years! This sabbatical served not as a vacation but as an intentional time for staff to invest in their own professional and personal sustainability.
    Girls Garage goes on sabbatical in 2022
  5. We hosted a lively holiday market, open to the public! Some of our favorite local vendors joined us: Pamanas Plantas, Boichik Bagels, Mother Tongue Coffee, Bad Walters Bootleg Ice Cream, Lulu’s, Kuali Salsa, and Ginger Bakes.
    Girls Garage holiday market
  6. We celebrated the graduating class of 2022. To call these 23 graduates impressive would be an understatement—they’re leaders, builders, artists, activists, athletes and lifelong students, and we can’t wait to cheer them on from Berkeley!


  7. Filmmaker and friend Ellie Wen released the Girls Garage promotional video! This beautiful short film captured the zeitgeist of Girls Garage.


  8. We hired 4 alumna as interns and a Girls Garage ambassador. It’s so special to welcome alumna back into our community as staff members. Combined, the 4 alumna have almost 40 years of Girls Garage experience between them!  

    Erica Chu, Alumna Ambassador for Girls Garage
  9. Emily’s TED Talk went live! While speaking ever so eloquently about the power of building an inclusive world and closing the gender gap in the trades, she built a physical toolbox on-stage. It’s a must-see!  

    Emily Pilloton-Lam at TEDWomen Conference, photo credit Gilberto Tadday
    Photo by Gilberto Tadday
  10. We made steel lamps with the help of local fabricator friends! Our Advanced Design/Build cohort honed their fabrication chops in designing these beautiful steel lamps. With the direction of our fabricator friend Chris, our students used the hydraulic press brake and the magnetic finger brake to bend the sheet metal.  

    Advanced Design/Build Steel Lamps
  11. We built 17 planter boxes! The feat was a collaborative effort across 2 classes, Builder Bootcamp and Construction + Community. The students built the boxes for Feed Black Futures and People’s Programs Oakland. 

    Planter boxes built by Girls Garage
  12. We distributed 20 more fully stocked toolboxes to our new high school students, bringing our total distribution to nearly 150 since 2020. It’s so important to us that our students don’t just identify as builders when they’re here at Girls Garage, but also in their homes and communities every day!   


  13. Elders from the textile collective ADELANTE visited Girls Garage to teach our students how to make natural dyes. In exchange, our high school students built them a sewing table and storage unit. ‘Twas an excellent exchange of intergenerational knowledge!  

    High school students work with ADELANTE elders to learn about natural dyes
  14. We got a brand new riso ink: neon pink! To all you riso heads out there, you know how exciting this development is. We’ve made excellent use of this ink in almost every printing project, including but not limited to our feminist safety signs and protest posters.
  15. We received significant grants. 2022 was a boon for our development department, as we received support from organizations like Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall, Stanley Black & Decker, Turner Construction, and National Endowment for the Arts.
    Turner Construction supports Girls Garage
  16. We started construction on a 20-ft geodesic dome in partnership with the Eames Institute. Our Advanced Design/Build students rode geometric headwinds to cut and assemble 40 6-ft triangle modules. The dome will be installed at the Eames Ranch in Petaluma in early 2023—stay tuned!
    Geodesic dome for the Eames Institute built by Girls Garage
  17. The Chapter510 stage was unveiled. While we love the physical process of building a project, it’s just as special to witness the project “out in the world”! Last fall, our Advanced Design/Build cohort built this stage for Chapter510, an Oakland-based youth writing organization. 

  18. We held a “Parking Lot Party” fundraiser at Ashby Lumber! There was axe-throwing, cornhole, a live DJ, Girls Garage merchandise, and tacos for days. It was awesome to connect with our community!  Ashby Lumber fundraiser for Girls Garage
  19. We hosted other educators and toured our space. As the pandemic has receded and we’ve been able to access more safety measures like vaccines, rapid tests, and proper masks, it’s been easier for us to feel comfortable in hosting other folks in our workspace!   

    TelHi educators in the Girls Garage workspace
  20. We worked with a whole new host of incredible clients, like People’s Programs Oakland, ADELANTE textile collective, Feed Black Futures, and many others. We prioritize working with clients who provide direct-aid within our communities, and we hope to continue these relationships year-after-year.
    Ali from Feed Black Futures, a new Girls Garage client
  21. We celebrated the year with epic end-of-year festivities, including a workshop with the one and only Wendy MacNaughton and a journey to fine dining in San Francisco. It was a fantastic ending to a fantastic year.
    Workshop with Wendy MacNaughton and the Girls Garage team
  22. We provided our second year of paid professional development for our staff and instituted a 401(k) retirement plan. Thanks to a generous grant from the Heller Foundation, each staff member was granted $1000 to use for professional development opportunities, like workshops, seminars, and out-of-state artist residencies.