May 21, 2019
Emily Pilloton, CED lecturer in architecture and sustainable environmental design, founded Girls Garage to offer hands-on afterschool programs, summer camps, and workshops aimed at inspiring girls and young women to design and build. Pilloton created the program in part because of the gender dynamics she experienced growing, “I didn’t want younger generations to experience those same things,” she shared.
Melinda Gates and Mandy Moore visited the garage in May to share their backgrounds and encourage girls to “fear less and build more,” according to the nonprofit’s motto. During her visit, Gates spoke about her own experience studying computer science and business, and how she embraced the collaborative and creative sides of traditional STEM fields. Gates first became involved with the program through her organization Pivotal Ventures, which invests in social activist groups like Girls Garage. Gates believes all women can serve as inspiring and bold role models for young girls, not just those with financial resources: “I believe that every one of us influences those around us,” she said. “And so we need to all look at how can we help lift others up.”