Making waves Foundation core values repeated over and over. The values repeated are: Drive Impact, Promote Equity, Build Community, Do hard Things, and Learn and Grow.
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Making Waves Foundation Adopts New Core Values

Making Waves Foundation » News Stories » Making Waves Foundation Adopts New Core Values

New Core Values are blueprint for foundation’s mission

In December 2021, the Making Waves Foundation Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve new organizational Core Values. The values will guide the work of the Making Waves Foundation community of students, alumni, staff members, board members, donors, and partners in pursuit of the foundation’s mission to advance educational opportunity and strategic plan to increase the college graduation rate for historically underrepresented and underserved students in Contra Costa County.

The process to create core values began just over a year ago and was led by the Culture and Equity Advisory Committee – a board advisory committee comprised of two board members and five staff members – as well as a Core Values Working Group comprised of seven staff members.

The inclusive approach brought together people representing diverse cross-sections of the organization. Students, alumni, staff, and board members came together in sessions to share moments from their experiences at Making Waves that, to them, reflected Making Waves’ deepest values. These personal stories served as the input that ultimately shaped and defined the core values.

Making Waves Foundation Core Values

Advancing equity and inclusion, building community

“The process itself was meant to build investment, strengthen our culture, and reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Making Waves Foundation CEO Patrick O’Donnell.

O’Donnell presented the proposed core values to the board alongside Culture and Equity Advisory Committee and Board Members Theresa Fay-Bustillos and Ajani Jackson. Fay-Bustillos noted the teamwork that went into forming the values and shared that she appreciates their accessibility and authenticity. Jackson, a Wave-Maker alumni himself, shared appreciation for how the values satisfy organizational and individual purposes and are open to different thoughts, representations, and interpretations.

The process was designed to create core values that serve as a blueprint for the foundation’s mission, create alignment across teams, and advance equity and inclusion.

“I’ve dedicated my entire career to promoting equity, to driving equity forward within organizations and it’s something that I constantly think about,” shared VP of Talent Erick Roa.

“What I love about the creation of core values is that it’s an opportunity to get feedback from so many stakeholders to make sure the values resonate with multiple groups,” he said.

The group also strived to create values that are actionable, provide a sense of pride for being a part of the Making Waves community, and serve as inspiration for advancing the organization’s work in educational equity.

“It was no surprise to me that Build Community was selected as one of our core values because essentially that’s what we’re doing on a day-to-day basis. We get this opportunity to create a space for students to know that they are seen, valued, and heard, and are part of a community of people rooting for them to make it through college.”

Ayasha tripp
College Coach

“I’m excited that the organization is recognizing that building community is something important and something that we’re committed to going forward,” Tripp added.

O’Donnell shared this sentiment and emphasized the work to come. “I’m really excited about these core values and how they can anchor everyone in our community about who we are and how we operate together in service of our shared commitment to expanding educational opportunity,” he said.

“I think they can be a powerful force in our next chapter. In 2022, we will spend intentional time as a community defining what these values look like in action.”


With special thanks

Culture and Equity Advisory Committee

Board Members

Ajani Jackson, M.D.

Adult, Adolescent, and Child Psychiatrist

Theresa Fay-Bustillos

Philanthropic, business, and nonprofit executive

Staff Members

Ayasha Tripp

Senior Manager of Coaching Services

Erick Roa

Chief People and Operations Officer

May Melehan

Director of Coaching Services

Patrick O’Donnell

Chief Executive Officer

Siobhan McCarthy

Director of Financial Planning and Analysis

Core Values Working Group

Patrick O’Donnell

Chief Executive Officer

Mercedes Thomas

Multimedia Design Manager

Ayasha Tripp

Senior Manager of Coaching Services

Felicia Tripp

College Coach