Making Waves Foundation’s College and Alumni Program, known as CAP, is a college success program that provides need-based scholarship funding, one-to-one college coaching, and financial literacy training for first-generation and underserved students in the Bay Area, focusing particularly on students from Contra Costa County.

Our expert team knows from experience that college completion is a game-changer for first-generation students and their families. Coaches help students refine their life dreams—and then pursue them. The goal is to enable motivated students facing systemic barriers to earn a college degree or credential, as quickly and with as little debt as possible.


How it Works

Scholarship and financial support is imperative.

Our team helps students with college selection, financial planning, budgeting, and completing financial aid forms.

All eligible CAP students receive need-based scholarships from Making Waves Foundation, further reducing the financial barriers to higher education.

Supportive coaching makes all the difference.

Through an individualized coaching approach, coaches and students focus on a number of important topics such as academics, communication, connection, professional development, time management and organization, wellness, and financial management.

Programming builds community and networks.

Programs and events throughout the year keep students connected to each other and to professionals in various industries for networking, professional development, internship and career opportunities.

The work continues after college.

Our alumni team provides guidance on career paths, post-graduate education, finances, and other life skills and helps to facilitate an active alumni network.


What is Making Waves’ College and Alumni Program?

Hear from Melissa Fries, executive director, as she describes how the college success program has served hundreds of students throughout the Bay Area as they journey toward their college degrees. Students graduating college as quickly and with as little debt as possible is a game-changer for them, their family, and community.


What is financial literacy and why does it matter?

Hear from Ivette Chavez, director of financial services, about how her team sets students up for success with a solid understanding of financial aid, budgeting, and more.


What’s so special about our college coaching model?

Hear from May Melehan, director of college coaching, and Wave-Maker Lupita talk about our unique college coaching model, focused on supporting students in reaching their potential.


What does the coaching relationship look like?

Hear from Wave-Maker Jamaya and Dr. Kristina Wright, college coaching services manager, about Jamaya’s journey to college and finding success.