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.

Since 1989, our students and alumni, known as Wave-Makers, have been a part of cohorts, known as Waves, from Richmond (now Making Waves Academy), San Francisco, Pittsburg, and the greater Bay Area. Currently, we support students from Making Waves Academy, Pittsburg, and the Bay Area.

Making Waves Academy (Richmond, California)

As part of its commitment to rigorously and holistically prepare students to graduate from college, Making Waves Academy graduates have the opportunity to enroll in Making Waves Foundation’s College and Alumni Program, known as CAP.

Program Benefits
Student Eligibility
Current Program Status

Making Waves Academy students currently opt-in to the program.

Contact information

If you have questions about this program, please email

Pittsburg, California

Since 2020 Making Waves Foundation has been partnering with Pittsburg Unified School District and Pittsburg High School, providing college planning workshops as well as the opportunity for selected seniors to receive scholarships and college coaching. Learn more about the workshop schedule, 24/7 text support, and college success program for Pittsburg High School students.


The Making Waves Foundation scholarship application for Pittsburg High School opens in January 18, 2023 and closes February 20, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Decisions will be made the week of March 27, 2023.

Contact information

If you have questions about this program, please email Please put “Workshop Question” or “Scholarship Question” in the subject line depending on your question.

If you’d like to know more about supporting our plan to reach more students in Contra Costa County, please email

Bay Area, California

In 2015, Making Waves Foundation developed its Bay Area program, serving high school graduates from the nine Bay Area counties to and through college. The program accepted its fifth and final cohort of Bay Area students in 2020.

In total, this program has admitted 500 college students with more than 170 of these students having graduated so far.We currently have more than 300 students enrolled in college from this program with an intended program end date of 2025. These students will continue to take full advantage of the coaching and scholarship support we provide and participate as lifelong alumni of our community.

Current Program Status

This program is no longer accepting applications.

What’s so special about our college coaching model?

Hear 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’s it like to be a first-generation graduate?

Hear from Christian, a Wave-Maker who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University after being a part of the first class to graduate from Making Waves Academy.

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.