A college degree positively changes the trajectory of students, their families, and their communities.


Wave-Maker students at Making Waves Academy


Wave-Maker college students


Wave-Maker college graduates

College Success Impact

With a unique focus on college attendance and college graduation, Making Waves Education Foundation provides educational opportunities for historically underrepresented and underserved students in pursuing their dreams. Making Waves Education Foundation leads a college success program, formerly known as CAP, that supports predominately first-generation college students with coaching, scholarships, financial planning, career support, and more.

Students have tremendous talents and skills and are capable of achieving their college, career, and life goals. We believe providing students with opportunities and guidance ensures they are equipped to overcome systemic barriers, live choice-filled lives, and achieve these goals.

2021-2022 Fast Facts


  • 575 Wave-Makers in college
  • 89% are first-generation college students
  • 71% are eligible for Federal Pell Grants

College success

  • 93 Wave-Makers graduated from college in 2021-22
  • 71% 6-year graduation rate for bachelor’s degree students – more than twice the rate of their national peers
  • 84% graduated debt-free and the average debt was only $977 per student

Career success

  • 57% of Wave-Makers obtained a full-time job or began graduate school within a year of completing their undergraduate degree – more than double the rate of their national peers

“I feel that I’m a more confident person now. My college experience was more stress-free knowing that I had people there to help me out both financially and in life.”

Wave-Maker Alison Paxtor, 2022 graduate of California State University, East Bay

2021-2022 Making Waves Education Foundation Impact Report

Making Waves Academy Impact

Making Waves Academy is a public charter school in Richmond, California, serving predominately students from socioeconomically disadvantaged households. Making Waves Education Foundation supports Making Waves Academy as their facilities provider and with intellectual resources, as well as support for college access and community building activities. Graduates from Making Waves Academy have the opportunity to enroll in Making Waves Education Foundation’s college success program.

“I feel like a big part of me reaching this milestone has been the confidence that I have gained to speak my mind and my truth.”

Wave-Maker Lizbeth Ibarra, 2022 Making Waves Academy Graduate and Student at Harvard University

2021-2022 Making Waves Academy Impact Report

What’s it like to be a first-generation graduate?

Hear from Christian, a Wave-Maker who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University after being a part of the first class to graduate from Making Waves Academy.

What does the coaching relationship look like?

Hear from Wave-Maker Jamaya and Director of Learning and Design Dr. Kristina Wright about Jamaya’s journey to college and finding success.

News and Resources that are Making Waves