Alum Emily Pilloton’s Nonprofit Empowers Girls Through Design

Girls outside of a brick building
A parklet built by Girls Garage. Photo: Bryan Meltz

Forbes interviewed alum Emily Pilloton (MA 2005) about her nonprofit Girls Garage, which teaches program participants wood-working, metal-working, printmaking, art, and design skills that ultimately allow them to build full-scale structures that support their own communities. All programming is free and geared toward girls of color and girls who come from low-income communities. It aims to build skills, but also to empower participants. “Girls Garage started because I love building things, real things, with young people,” Pilloton shared. “Even as a female instructor, I was still feeling this intangible gendered difference. When I walked on the job site, people didn't think I was the boss. My female students had tools taken from them and weren’t taken seriously. Girls Garage was founded in response to that.”