Making Waves brings together the impact of two nonprofits

Making Waves Academy is a public charter school that prepares 5th-12th graders for college, career, and life success. Graduates then have the opportunity to join our Making Waves Education Foundation college and career success program, which is also open to first-generation college students, students of color, and students from low-income backgrounds across the Bay Area.


Wave-Maker students at Making Waves Academy


Wave-Maker college students


Wave-Maker college graduates

College. Graduation. Career.

We partner with Wave-Makers to navigate their college journeys by providing scholarships, college and career coaching, and financial planning support. We support Wave-Makers in internalizing the power of their own identity, purpose, and agency to persist and reach college graduation. We strive for Wave-Makers to graduate from college on time, with minimal debt, and ready for a strong start to their career, aligned with their values and dreams.

2022-2023 Fast Facts


  • 515 Wave-Makers in college
  • 87% are first-generation college students
  • 79% are eligible for Federal Pell Grants
  • 97% are people of color

College success

  • 118 Wave-Makers graduated from college in 2022-23
  • 61% 6-year graduation rate for bachelor’s degree students – more than twice the rate of their national peers
  • 85% graduated debt-free (no student loans)

Career success

  • 61% of Wave-Makers obtained a full-time job that requires a bachelor’s degree or began graduate school within a year of completing their undergraduate degree
  • 100% of these employed Wave-Makers are in jobs related to their career plan

I was able to graduate without any student loans! Entering the workforce, I am now able to focus on investing my money, and I am excited about becoming financially stable. I know that my current position has a lot of career advancement opportunities.

Wave-Maker Guadalupe Ortega, 2023 graduate of UC Davis

2022-23 Making Waves Education Foundation Impact Report

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