The AFSF Build San Francisco – Student Work Experience Program (Build SF-SWEP) is an after-school program that provides high school students from CalWORKs-eligible households, foster care homes and transitional-aged emancipated foster (TAY) youth (18-22) with STEAM job-readiness skill training, paid work experience and personal development support. AFSF is partnering with the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families and the Japanese Community Youth Council’s Student Work Experience Program and has created a program to prepare young people for their next step in life.

SWEP participants work individually and in teams in our studio, using professional grade software and design equipment to work on on real-world projects. Each is also individually mentored by a professional architect, engineer or other high-tech professional in a private firm one day per week. With this opportunity, SWEP participants improve their communication skills, learn advanced computer software, develop teamwork abilities, and gain overall STEAM workplace knowledge and skills.

A primary goal of Build SF-SWEP is digital literacy. Although this generation of students has a great familiarity with the social uses of technology, the professional world of technological proficiency largely eludes them. Young people who spend hours playing video games give little thought to the complexity involved in game design and creation, from scene and character creation to the underlying program that manipulates the action. Students who can send text messages at lightning speed have no understanding of the engineering of a cellular phone system. These young people not only lack the skills and competencies required for 21st century employment, they are also unaware of the vast range of STEAM careers that can be open to them if they possess those competencies.

AFSF projects make it possible for all young people to find success in their own terms and to acquire new levels of academic, social, and workplace skills that prepare them for advancement, regardless of their circumstances. In studying the many issues surrounding today’s youth, AFSF has come to believe many of them face significant barriers to their advancement in education and/or in work. For some, the threshold for getting the help they need is simply too high. AFSF’s Build SF-SWEP program accepts all willing young people who seek to develop the level of skills required for advancement.

For more information about Build SF-SWEP or any of our programs, please email us:

AFSF-DCYF-JCYC-SWEP - the Architectural Foundation of SF's collaboration with JCYC and DCYF to offer a Student Work Experience Program for at-risk youth