Blue graphic with waves, photo of Alison Paxtor in graduation attire, Making Waves Foundation logo, and text for 2021-22 Impact Report, core values guide work in advancing educational opportunities, wave-maker success framework combines student dreams with measurable plan, students making waves in college and careers, and 93 college graduates with 84% graduating debt-free in 2022
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Celebrating Your Impact In Our Latest Impact Report

by Making Waves Foundation

Making Waves Education Foundation » News Stories » Celebrating Your Impact In Our Latest Impact Report

Dear Making Waves community,

In June, I sat in the audience at Craneway Pavilion in Richmond with hundreds of families and teachers preparing to celebrate over 75 Making Waves Academy seniors as they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Wave-Makers are the next generation of leaders

Several seniors gave impassioned speeches about their high school journeys. They spoke of their joys, challenges, and triumphs; how their community supported them; and their dreams for their futures. These were powerful speeches, and as I sat there, all I could think was: Wave-Makers are the next generation of leaders. They are values-driven leaders who have the talent, empathy, and perspective to solve the complex problems of our time. This past year included so many of these moments. Wave-Makers have big dreams for their lives, and it was incredible to see so many Wave-Makers chase and accomplish their dreams.

Inside this issue

I hope you enjoy reading the stories of some of our Wave-Makers — like Making Waves Academy graduate Lizbeth Ibarra accepting her offer to attend Harvard University (page 15) and Pittsburg High graduates Re’Niyah Oliver and Brenten Williams joining our college success program and studying business at Texas Southern University (page 16).

In addition, 93 Wave-Makers in our college success program earned bachelor’s degrees this past year, including Alison Paxtor, who graduated from CSU East Bay and is improving healthcare for underserved communities (page 20). With our alumni network now over 600 Wave-Makers strong, we continue to see alumni making waves — like Garvey Buchongo, a graduate of Sonoma State University, who landed her dream job at Brooks Running and launched a scholarship program (page 22).

Strengthening support for students

Our team strengthened our student support, focusing on continuous improvement and data driven approaches. We launched a Wave-Maker Success Framework (page 12), continued to work toward increasing college attendance and graduation rates in the Bay Area’s Contra Costa County, and began exploring technology through AI college advising (page 31).

Graphic with text for 575 Wave-Makers in college at 77 universities, 93 Wave-Makers graduated from college in 2021-22, and 84% graduated debt-free and the average debt was only $977 per student

Thank you for making this possible!

Thank you so much for supporting Wave-Makers and our team on the path to these dreams. For over 30 years, we have addressed barriers to opportunity by supporting thousands of Wave-Makers to have access to educational opportunities, career networks, and financial resources so they can thrive and live a life of their choosing. You make this possible.

In partnership,

Patrick O’Donnell

CEO of Making Waves Foundation

Patrick O’Donnell

Chief Executive Officer

Making Waves Foundation 2021-22 Impact Report

About Making Waves Foundation

With a unique focus on college attendance and graduation, Making Waves Foundation supports historically underrepresented and underserved students in pursuing their dreams. Making Waves Academy is a public charter school in Richmond, California, educating early 1,200 students and Making Waves Foundation’s college success program, known as CAP, provides coaching, scholarships, financial literacy, and career support for more than 500 college students as well as a network for more than 600 Wave-Maker alumni.

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