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Making Waves Academy Students Meet Harvard Alums, Explore College and Career Paths

by Making Waves Education Foundation

Making Waves Education Foundation » News Stories » Making Waves Academy Students Meet Harvard Alums, Explore College and Career Paths

Wave-Makers explore their options through college presentations, college campus visits, and career-based field trips

This past fall, alumni from Harvard Extension School paid a visit to Making Waves Academy for a ‘student-to-student’ panel conversation about their nontraditional educational pathways.

Organized by Making Waves Academy’s college and career counseling team, board member Janis Glover, and Harvard Extension School ambassador Tony Keslinke, the panel featured Lindi von Mutius and Melissa Wilson Wilder. The two Harvard alums shared candidly about some of the challenges they overcame on their way to earning their college degrees. They also highlighted their different career experiences, including in the field of education.

The panel was a part of Harvard Extension School’s Global Ambassador program aimed at giving back to communities in creative and meaningful ways.

Seven people standing side by side smiling for photo
Members of the Making Waves team with the Harvard guests at Making Waves Academy.

“It was an amazing and encouraging event in a warm, fireside chat format,” shared Dr. Arika Spencer-Brown, director of college and career counseling at Making Waves Academy.

“Students left the panel discussion inspired, supported, and with the realization that not everyone’s journey is a straight line. It’s ok if there are bumps in the road.”

Dr. Arika Spencer-Brown, director of college and career counseling, Making Waves Academy

More than 40 students participated in the event. A few of them have applied to Harvard.

“The caliber of the students at the Making Waves Academy was evident as they engaged and asked thoughtful questions throughout the presentation,” Keslinke shared in a LinkedIn post following the event.

“We were impressed not only by [Making Waves Academy’s] state-of-the-art facilities but also by the quality and professionalism of its staff and administrators. We are very excited to watch as this great cohort of students rises up to be the next generation of leaders in their communities.”

Person pointing to screen during presentation with group of students looking
Making Waves Academy students enjoying the Harvard panel presentation.

The Harvard panel is one of many examples of Making Waves Academy students being supported in exploring all types of college and career pathways.

Students have learned about options in higher education – from local community colleges like Contra Costa College to private liberal arts colleges like Middlebury, Swarthmore, and Vassar to public universities like UC Berkeley.

Plus, Making Waves Academy has led visits to college campuses throughout the Bay Area this fall. The 11th grade class traveled to visit Sonoma State University and UC Santa Cruz, while the 12th grade class took tours at Santa Clara University and San Francisco State University.

With support from Making Waves Education Foundation, Making Waves Academy graduates have the unique opportunity to receive up to six years of coaching and scholarships if they choose to pursue higher education.

Students are getting to explore different career options too. For students interested in the building and construction fields, there was a visit to a local Habitat for Humanity site.

For students interested in legal professions, there is a field trip planned this spring to Making Waves Education Foundation’s corporate partner, Allen Matkins law firm in San Francisco.

“Through all these presentations and hands-on visits, our students are gaining exposure to all types of possibilities.”

Dr. Arika Spencer-Brown, director of college and career counseling, Making Waves Academy
About Making Waves Academy

Making Waves Academy is a public charter school committed to rigorously and holistically preparing students in grades 5-12 from Richmond, California and the surrounding areas for college, career, and life success.

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