Blue graphic with photo of woman graduating from USC with text for Impact Report 2020-21

Dear Making Waves Community,

We are pleased to share Making Waves Foundation’s 2020-21 Impact Report!

Over the past few months, Wave-Makers returned to their college campuses across the country. They unpacked and set up their dorm rooms, reunited with friends in the dining hall, and connected with professors in their lecture halls and seminars. For many of our freshman and sophomore Wave-Makers, they stepped foot into classrooms on their college campus for the very first time. What a powerful moment for a generation of students whose journeys to college and college graduation have been disrupted by the pandemic.

We recently asked our college students to reflect on their experience with Making Waves as they navigated a particularly challenging year, and we were struck by one student’s reflection:

Orange graphic with quote: “My coach supported me through an extremely challenging period in my life. She breathed hope and aspiration into me, helped me realize my purpose and coached me on moving forward, highlighted my accomplishments and worked with me on areas of growth. I am truly thankful for her. A match made in Heaven.”

We are inspired by this hope and aspiration. At Making Waves, we have a fundamental belief that we can expand educational equity, that when we see a challenge, we should rise to it with optimism and courage, and that we can think big, set ambitious goals, and achieve results. This is the spirit that drives our Wave-Makers, our team, and Making Waves. As you read this Impact Report, you’ll see this reflected in so many areas of our work.

We have big hopes and aspirations for ensuring that first-generation students and students in need from across Contra Costa County can graduate college, with minimal debt, and set up for career success.



Patrick O'Donnell headshot and title CEO and Melissa Fries headshot and title Executive Director