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Sawhorse Revolution hosts programs that engage teens and community members on inspiring building projects, creating a dynamic, exciting, culturally-savvy classroom for diverse populations. By connecting these fun, team-oriented environments with progressive educational principles (e.g., game-ification, project-based learning, restorative practices, etc.), we effectively create supportive, hands-on learning laboratories in which students discover the potential of their surroundings and their passions.

Throughout the year, high school youth team with professional builders and dedicated mentors to create beautiful structures that support nonprofits and community groups in local neighborhoods. Most programs offer 40-60 hours of direct building time, equivalent to a college level course, and are offered to students either for free or on a sliding-scale.

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Why Carpentry?

  • Completing large projects gives tangible evidence of one’s ability to succeed.
  • Carpentry develops the power and skill of working together.
  • Building promotes physical health.
  • Applied STEM brings the classroom to life.
  • With the decline in shop class, young people need new opportunities to learn building skills.
  • Trades offer well-paid, dignified work.
  • Design and construction are avenues for practical creativity.
  • Students learn widely applicable job skills.

Who We Serve

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We strive to make high quality building programs accessible to all. As of today, we’ve served 650+ students and completed 40 community building projects. Half of our students are women, two thirds are students of color, and more than three quarters come from low income neighborhoods. Through working together, we hope to break down the barriers of race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. When you’re thirty feet up in a tree or lifting a heavy beam, a helping hand is a helping hand, regardless of its shape or color.

Sawhorse recruits students from high schools like Franklin, Chief Sealth, and Nova, and through partnerships with existing organizations, including the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative and the Interagency Academy. Students occasionally find us through school counselors, social media, or word of mouth.

A 2018 report from our partner organizations shows the impact of our programming. Participating students averaged a 59% increase in attendance, earned 63% more credits, and were 80% more likely to meet their credit attainment goals. Since inception, 35 Sawhorse Revolution students have found careers in design or the trades, and our staff has written 11 letters of recommendation for students seeking post-secondary education opportunities.

How We Do It

Since Sawhorse Revolution’s programs are offered for free or with ample scholarship opportunities, we rely upon a variety of income sources to cover our expenses. Support from the city, private foundations, individual donations, fundraisers, and fee-for-service builds make the revolution possible.

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