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Introducing: Making Waves Education Foundation

by Making Waves Education Foundation

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Updating our brand to match our mission

For more than 30 years, Making Waves has been partnering with historically underserved and underrepresented students to support them in reaching their dreams. Reflecting on our history and looking towards the future as a Bay Area nonprofit passionate about educational equity, we are updating our brand to match our mission. 

Our updated name, logo, and overall brand for Making Waves Education Foundation clarifies our focus on education for our community of students, families, alumni, donors, supporters, and board and team members – and helps us increase visibility with those who aren’t yet familiar with our organization and programs. 

With our focus on education and aiming to best reach our community, we are also phasing out the use of the stand-alone brand for our College and Alumni Program, or CAP. While we will no longer call our program “CAP,” our college students can rest assured the comprehensive college and career coaching, scholarships, and college financial planning services we provide are not going anywhere.  

As Making Waves Education Foundation looks to increase college attendance and graduate rates, our programs and resources are growing. For example, this past fall we launched a 24/7 text-messaging service for students and families navigating college admissions and financial aid processes.  

By changing confusing elements of our brand, we can advance our student-centered work helping to remove systemic barriers to make college affordable and graduation attainable. We’re proud to support students in discovering themselves, growing their strengths, navigating college life, and reaching their career dreams. 

That is what Making Waves Education Foundation is all about. 

With Special Thanks 

Thank you to the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ Alumni Consulting Program, which provided the comprehensive analysis, stakeholder interviews, and workshops that helped inform these brand updates. Thank you to our students, alumni, board and team members who contributed to the interviews, workshops, and overall project. 


Why have you added “Education” to the name of the foundation? 

To better reflect our core mission: to expand educational opportunity for underrepresented students. By emphasizing the educational cornerstone of our work, we are making sure our opportunities are easier to find and are better able support college and career success for students and in our communities. 

Why are you phasing out the program name “CAP”?   

Short answer: To allow room for our programs and resources to grow to meet demand – and most importantly, to make it easier for people to find these programs and resources. 

The acronym “CAP” formed out of Making Waves’ College and Alumni Program, which was established in 2013. Since then, we’ve grown to support graduates pursuing college from Making Waves Academy as well as college students from across the Bay Area. Our community of Wave-Makers now includes more than 500 college students and more than 600 college graduates. And our programming has evolved – including a partnership with Pittsburg High School, increased resources for high schoolers navigating the college admissions and financial aid processes, and a growing focus on career coaching for students and alumni. 

As we continue to drive impact and promote equity by reaching more students and families, we are focused on having a clear Making Waves Education Foundation brand. The terms College and Alumni Program and CAP are hard to find online for students and families looking for the scholarships, coaching, and other college and career resources we provide. We’re excited for this opportunity to build on past success to share the Making Waves story and celebrate the experiences and achievements of our Wave-Makers.  

How do these changes impact current students who already enrolled in CAP? 

Short answer: They don’t!

Student scholarships, college and career coaching, and other services will not be interrupted. As Wave-Makers you will continue to partner with your Making Waves coaches, financial service coordinators, and career advisors as you navigate your college journey, keep your scholarship and college budgeting on track, and explore and prepare for job opportunities.  

How do these changes impact Making Waves Academy? 

Short answer: They don’t!

Making Waves Education Foundation will continue to partner closely with Making Waves Academy, supporting their students, especially as they have the opportunity to opt into our college and career success program. 

About Making Waves Education Foundation 

At Making Waves, we are committed to educational equity. Making Waves Education Foundation is a Bay Area nonprofit that supports Making Waves Academy – a public charter school with more than 1,100 5th through 12th grade students – and leads college and career programming with more than 500 college students.​

Knowing the opportunities that come with a college degree, we partner with historically underrepresented and underserved students to help make college affordable and graduation attainable. Centering the journeys of our students, our personalized approach includes college and career coaching, scholarships, and financial planning.​

Our alumni network includes more than 600 college graduates, who earn their degrees and land jobs at more than twice the rate of their first-generation, low-income peers, with 84% graduating debt-free.

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