A leader in college success.

As one of the few pathways in Richmond to break the cycle of poverty, Making Waves supports students during their entire educational journey, through college and beyond. A college degree changes the trajectory of students, their families, and eventually their communities. We create a network for our graduates and support them as they build meaningful lives and rewarding careers.

Here are just a few of our alumni stories:


Class of 2014: California State University, Sacramento

“I didn’t realize how much of a blessing and impact Making Waves was going to have on my life. I’m currently a community organizer at Students for Education Reform. I work with college students training them to become grass roots organizers to advocate for the K-12 educational system. At SFER we believe students are a powerful force to make tangible change within our West Contra Costa schools and community. Because if we elevate those who are silent, we will see real change!”


Class of 2015: UCLA

“I began my career the way I began my time on this earth: lost, cold, and confused. I had no idea what I wanted to do but I knew that I wanted to do it now. I interned at a lot of different financial institutions, volunteered at a few campus service organizations, and asked a bunch of people for advice. What I learned is that your first few jobs are for making mistakes. It’s important to use that time to figure out what you would enjoy doing every day. Making Waves and the investment of its leadership and staff formed the foundation upon which every subsequent achievement I have and will experience in my life is supported.”


Class of 2016: University of Southern California (undergraduate) / University of Pennsylvania (masters)

“My career path is guided by my dedication to the community and diversity, which is what Making Waves instilled in me at a young age. Making Waves has had the most meaningful impact on my career path since the program inspired me to become a leader in Richmond and create social change. Making Waves gave me the educational and community support to re-imagine what I envisioned could be possible for my life, and Richmond’s future. With Making Waves, I’m part of a larger movement in education and social justice that is much bigger than just me. I feel that everything I do reflects what is possible for the youth of Richmond. Making Waves’ values are at the core of my life and career path.”


Class of 2016: Pitzer College

“When I started college, I was pursuing a science major while participating in extracurricular activities related to education and teaching. I eventually switched and pursued a double major in Sociology and Spanish. This allowed me to enroll in courses focused on education and improve my approach in the educational activities I participated in. Throughout college, I was a Corps Member for Jumpstart, a Spanish Conversation Leader for the Spanish Department, and an English Teaching Assistant during both of my study abroad experiences in Costa Rica and Italy. These experiences, coupled with my academic background, led me to apply to the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Fulbright program in Mexico. After working as an ETA in one of Mexico’s most prestigious universities, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), I accepted a position as a Program Officer with the Fulbright Commission in Mexico. I’m very grateful to Making Waves because it completely changed my educational trajectory from an early age. It is because of Making Waves that I accomplished and participated in all of the activities that led me to where I am now.”


Class of 2016: California State University, Sacramento

“While in college, I was pursuing a degree in Social Work, until my summer internship with CBS Interactive (CBSi). The internship was a stepping stone that introduced me to a profession that I now love. To this day, the most influential person in my life has been my Making Waves College Coach, Mr. Grady. In college, he helped me to declare my major and made sure I was able to graduate. Post graduation, Mr. Grady connected me with an internship at CBS Interactive that led to my current full-time employment in human resources.”