The 18th Annual Architectural Foundation of San Francisco Annual Award Breakfast celebrated the accomplishments of AFSF programs – Build San Francisco, Future Graduates, The Annual AFSF High School Design Competition, Build SF’s Summer Design Institute, and the Build SF’s Student Work Experience Program, all of which have impacted over 5,000 students and bolstered the region’s design workforce over the foundation’s 27 years. The morning’s celebrations featured numerous awards to deserving students and organizations, presented by AFSF champions, including Tom Gerfen, RMW Chairman, AFSF board member, past president, and 25-year veteran, who spoke briefly of his history with the organization and the creation of the AFSF / RMW Education Endowment in 2000. The California College of the Arts Matthew Mills Traveling Scholars Program was the first grant commemorating RMW’s 30th anniversary and our commitment to the industry’s future. This year’s grant of $25,000 is to increase the endowment of the Matthew R Mills Scholarship. CCA Junior, Jennifer Gonzalez the current MRM Scholar rose to accept the grant. Tom also announced a $20,000 grant to the Paul W. Welch Jr. Architecture Registration Examination Scholarship, increasing the number of recipients from 4 to 8 per year and furthering the fund’s potential to assist graduates in achieving their registration.
The morning’s highlight, however, was the announcement of AFSF / RMW’s $50,000 grant to BGCSF. The Glenn E. Bauer College Preparatory Grant was presented to the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco. Glenn Bauer has been a BGCSF board member since 2000 shortly after his introduction to the organization through RMW’s renovation of the clubhouse at Guerrero Street. His volunteer architectural support has enhanced nine diverse projects within San Francisco, and at the Mendocino camp. Glenn has helped guide their architecture and construction teams from concept, through pre-construction and project meetings, all leading with his heart. “It goes beyond function and providing a safe place for kids, but I’ve seen the respect that kids have for the club houses. I’ve seen the pride that they have to enter the clubhouses and the pride that communities the clubhouses serve have for the organization. It’s very impressive and very inspiring.” Glenn said while presenting the scholarship. He continued, “I’ve also had the chance to witness many of the programs that the organization is involved in, and I am particularly interested in the college prep program which has been extremely effective in my opinion, so I’m really delighted to be able to direct this grant to the Boys and Girls Club and the College Prep Program specifically.”
Accepting on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco was President, Rob Connolly and College Prep Program alumna LaCresha McManus. LaCresha told the inspiring story of her childhood second home, her mentor’s influence, and the college prep program’s impact on her college opportunity to Sacramento State University in 2006. Now the Director of Citywide Teen Services for BGCSF, she passionately shared, “the young people that we serve at BGCSF remind me a lot of myself, high-risk youth of color who experience violence, trauma, and instability on a daily basis. But with the help of club professionals and programs like college prep, our young people show remarkable strength and grit to shape the culture of their neighborhoods when they pursue higher education and have a plan for the future.” After enlightening attendees on the program’s methods and successes, LaCresha thanked the AFSF and Glenn Bauer for their commitment to helping youth realize their potential to become productive responsible and reliable citizens.
Tom Gerfen’s final announcement closed the chapter on his 25 years of service to the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco’s Board of Directors. He celebrated the bold dreams and energetic leadership that has moved the foundation’s mission forward, lamenting “I will always have my heart here, farewell.”