The work that we do creates positive disturbances or positive movement in our students’ lives and in our communities. We seek change in our society; the status quo is not acceptable. We seek to be agents of beneficial change for our children and the communities we serve. Most importantly, we strive to instill in our children the awareness that they are gifted and have a responsibility to share their gifts and thereby make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.
Providing the Educational Opportunities that Change Lives
From our origins as an after-school tutoring program serving low-income students in Richmond and San Francisco, we've evolved into a comprehensive, holistic, year-round educational support program and pair of public charter schools. Our Richmond campus houses Making Waves Academy Middle School, serving grades 5-8, and Making Waves Academy Upper School, currently one grade short of full capacity with students in grades 9-11. Additionally, Making Waves continues to further develop our College and Alumni Program to help our ever-increasing number of high school graduates successfully navigate their college experience.
Launched in 1989, the Making Waves Education Program in Richmond has eleven waves of students. (A “wave” is a cohort of students who enter our program in a given year and stay together through their educational journey and beyond.) Our graduates have gone on to earn degrees from some of the nation’s most distinguished academic institutions and graduate schools, including Occidental College, Sarah Lawrence College, Stanford University, Tufts University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Southern California. Among those graduates are two doctors, many educational and social-service professionals, and numerous others who have positions as managers and analysts at companies such as Bank of the West, Kaiser Permanente, UPS, and Lockheed-Martin.
Our final Wave of the MWEP-Richmond site will be graduating from high school in June of 2014.
Launched in 2001 under the leadership of Melissa Fries, a former Stanford University administrator and long-time Making Waves staffer, the Making Waves Education Program in San Francisco helps students attend independent schools and provides additional academic course work, tutoring, and homework support after school, Saturdays, and during the summer. MWEP - San Francisco also provides the full complement of Making Waves student supports and other interventions, as necessary, to keep children and families on track.
Our two final waves in the MWEP-San Francisco site will graduate from high school in 2014 and 2015, respectively, before entering the College and Alumni program.
Founded in 2007, Making Waves Academy is a four-year public charter school with a rigorous academic program for Richmond students in fifth through eighth grades. Students are exposed to a full-day of courses and after-school enrichment at the new, state-of-the-art campus, which provides a comprehensive array of services for students and families to ensure that young people achieve beyond grade level and are on track for college success. In addition to rigorous academics, the school emphasizes core values, including scholarship, social and personal responsibility, integrity, self-determination, and community.
The school features unusually low class sizes, a highly trained faculty and an administrative team that understands student motivations and needs. Making Waves provides comprehensive services for students and their families, including health and nutrition, parental support, cultural enrichment and field trips, summer programs, and transportation. The school is committed to inspiring students to academic excellence and preparing them for high school and other educational endeavors that will change their lives.
The Upper School, launched in 2011, offers Wave-Makers who have completed Making Waves Academy Middle School the kind of rigorous college-preparatory education typically available to students at elite prep schools. Rich academic course offerings are buttressed with career exploration and individualized holistic supports that enable students to graduate from high school ready to pursue advanced learning and careers that align with their ambitions, passions, and interests. MWA prepares students not just to enter college, but to complete college and aspire to additional graduate and professional degrees.