The University of San Francisco’s Engage San Francisco Initiative and the Good Tidings Foundation Unveil New STEAM Makerspace at Rosa Parks Elementary School

August 28 ribbon-cutting ceremony to be held at the Western Addition school

SAN FRANCISCO (August 26, 2019) – The Engage San Francisco initiative at the University of San Francisco (USF) has partnered with the Good Tidings Foundation to create a state-of-the-art STEAM makerspace at Rosa Parks Elementary School in the city’s Western Addition neighborhood. The official grand opening of the innovative space will be celebrated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 9 a.m. Good Tidings Board Member John McNulty, whose firm, MBH Architects, designed the room, and USF President Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J. will be among the speakers at the ceremony.

“Over the past 25 years, Good Tidings has created over 200 athletic, artistic and educational spaces, but this is our first makerspace,” said Larry Harper, founder of the Good Tidings Foundation. “We are thrilled to provide an environment for the children at Rosa Parks to challenge their creativity.”

The mission of Good Tidings Foundation is to encourage and support the growth of marginalized children in Northern California by creating environments for athletics, artistic activities, education, and wonder. Good Tidings Foundation and Engage San Francisco, in partnership with MBH Architects and WL Butler Construction, have built this innovative makerspace at Rosa Parks Elementary featuring new paint and flooring, new task lighting, all new furniture, and a digital projector, providing a creativity-rich environment for exploration and experimentation.

"Rosa Parks Elementary is an anchor in the Western Addition and we are thrilled to partner with this wonderful school and the Good Tidings Foundation in support of educational equity,” said USF’s Karin Cotterman, director of Engage San Francisco. “We are grateful and humbled to play a role in supporting the social, emotional, and intellectual potential of every child in the Western Addition.”

As part of USF’s Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, Engage San Francisco works in the Western Addition and throughout San Francisco to support children, youth, and families through student learning, research, and teaching with the involvement of USF students, faculty and staff.

USF has a strong connection to Rosa Parks Elementary, including a literacy initiative through America Reads and USF student volunteers in the classroom. The current principal of Rosa Parks Elementary, Darren Kawaii, was previously an adjunct professor at USF, where he established a social justice education class, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed is an alumna of both Rosa Parks Elementary and USF.

"The Rosa Parks STEAM initiative is proud to announce the opening of our new makerspace,” said Darren Kawaii, principal of Rosa Parks Elementary. “This is the culmination of five years dedicated to making a 21st-century program for the families of the Western Addition of San Francisco.”

The STEAM makerspace ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 9 a.m. at Rosa Parks Elementary School located at 1501 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco. Members of the media interested in attending are requested to RSVP to Kellie Samson, USF Media Relations Specialist, at or (415) 422-2697.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World From Here.” The Campaign for the University of San Francisco is raising $300 million through 2022 to support student scholarships and financial aid, the creation of bold and innovative programs, and the renovation of current facilities and construction of new space, all part of expanding the university’s global influence. For more information, visit the USF Campaign Page.

About Engage San Francisco at the USF Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good

Engage San Francisco is an intentional, systematic and transformative university-community initiative that will achieve community-identified outcomes supporting children, youth and families in the Western Addition through student learning, research and teaching consistent with the University of San Francisco’s mission and vision. This university-wide initiative supports African American neighbors living below San Francisco’s poverty level to achieve their full potential in education, health, career development, and housing. For more information, visit Engage San Francisco.

About the Good Tidings Foundation

Founded in 1995, the Good Tidings Foundation is a 501 (c3) children’s charity that looks to equally support the growth of marginalized youth in the Bay Area by creating environments for Athletics, Artistic activities, Education, and Wonder. It engages in charitable partnerships with professional sports teams, pro athletes and other leaders who share our vision on how to create projects within its mission. It believes that every child deserves to have the means to achieve their dreams regardless of financial status, ethnic origin, religion or region of living. The ‘mission over money’ philosophy is the foundation for everything Good Tidings does. For more information, visit the Good Tidings Foundation.