“Life is tough, but we’re tougher.”

These are the words of Ramon, co-valedictorian of Making Waves Academy’s 2018 graduating class, the 15th Wave. In his speech, Ramon highlighted the journey he’s been on. “For the greater part of my life, I saw myself as a failure. No matter how much work I did right and the amount of effort I put into things it never seemed enough,” he says. “However, as I grew older I felt the support and love from the people who genuinely wanted and continue to want to see me succeed and I started to gain the confidence that I needed.”

Come fall, Ramon is heading to UC Davis to study economics and pre-med. “Advice about college and growing up has practically been engraved in our brains since we were 5th graders, but now that we’ve gone through so much together it all makes sense,” he says.

This June 96% of Making Waves Academy seniors graduated. 100% of graduates committed to attending postsecondary institutions, with 74% going to four-year institutions and 26% heading to two-year institutions. Students will attend colleges and universities including UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, Cal State East Bay, Mills College, Berkeley City College, and Laney College.

During the ceremony, Upper School Director Kimberly Carr congratulated the graduates. “I have had the honor and pleasure of supporting and observing the 15th Wave as they excelled in academics and metamorphosis into astounding human beings. I’m truly proud of their persistence, dedication, grit and success in their strong stride towards their high school diploma; and more importantly their dignity and integrity as Wave-Makers.”

Itzel, the other valedictorian of 2018, is attending CSU East Bay to study nursing. She offered these words of her advice during her speech. “Things won’t always go how we want, and life will continue to throw obstacles at us. But it is up to us, and only us, to decide if we’ll let that stop us from living a happy life. By doing the same things over and over again, you’ll get the same results over and over again. So only you can make a change in your life. For you to be happy you don’t need to have the best of everything, but to make the best of everything you get.”

Congrats and a round of applause for the 15th Wave!