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Making Waves College and Career Program Open to Bay Area Counties

by Making Waves Education Foundation

Making Waves Education Foundation » News Stories » Making Waves College and Career Program Open to Bay Area Counties

Making Waves Education Foundation partners with students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and first-generation college students so college is affordable and graduation is attainable. 

Now, thanks to a new $300,000 donation, the foundation is opening its college and career success program to all nine Bay Area counties. Comprehensive yet personalized, the program provides scholarships and coaching for students’ entire college journey. 

“We want to support more students in the Bay Area to earn their college degrees, to be able to afford it, and to graduate with minimal to no debt,” shared CEO Patrick O’Donnell. 

Making Waves is also making college information more accessible. Making Waves’ college and career chatbot answers questions and sends reminders about admissions, financial aid, and deadlines. Similarly, on Making Waves’ TikTok account, students can discover tips from experts and get an inside look at college life from students.  

“Many students of color and students from low-income backgrounds are not being reached by the current college advising model,” shared O’Donnell. “Our vision is to leverage technology to expand access to information and opportunity.” 

Program benefits 

The Making Waves college and career success program includes scholarships and a support system of college coaches, financial coordinators, and career specialists. 

Student support covers academics, career development, financial aid and budgeting, campus community, and wellness. Participants graduate from college and land jobs at twice the rate of their peers – and 85% earn their college degrees without any student loans.

Program eligibility 

Twenty eligible students will receive up to $20,000 each in scholarship funding over a maximum of five years and will be enrolled in Making Waves Education Foundation’s college and career success program.

The opportunity is open to high school seniors from low-income backgrounds from any of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties (Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma). As a part of the holistic selection process, Making Waves is seeking students who demonstrate a compelling personal why for pursuing college along with characteristics like resilience and self-awareness. 

Application deadline 

To apply, students must sign up for the Making Waves college and career chatbot, follow Making Waves on TikTok, and complete an application. The application will be open January 15- February 26, 2024. 

More information 

If you’re looking for support for your college and career journey, visit to learn more. 

About Making Waves Education Foundation 

Making Waves Education Foundation is a Bay Area nonprofit committed to equity. We partner with historically underrepresented and underserved students to help make college affordable and graduation attainable.  
Knowing the opportunities that come with a college degree, we lead college and career programming with more than 430 college students. Centering the journeys of our students, our personalized approach includes college and career coaching, scholarships, and financial planning.  
Our alumni network includes more than 750 college graduates, who earn their degrees and land jobs at more than twice the rate of their first-generation, low-income peers, with 85% graduating debt-free. 

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