Making Waves Foundation

Founded in 1989, Making Waves was created to address the educational needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged youth with limited access to quality schools in Richmond, California. Today, the Foundation’s mission is to advance opportunities for underserved and historically underrepresented students who are college-bound and career-minded. The Foundation achieves this through supporting Making Waves Academy and operating a college success program, CAP. The Foundation envisions a society in which all youth—regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status—have access to high-quality educational opportunities and the tools to achieve success.

Born out of the afterschool Making Waves Education Program (MWEP), Making Waves Academy (MWA) was established in 2007 as a public charter school serving 5th-12th graders in Richmond under the authority of the Contra Costa County Office of Education. MWA rigorously and holistically prepares students to gain acceptance to and graduate from college to ultimately become valuable contributors to the workforce and their communities. Making Waves Foundation supports MWA by acquiring, developing, and managing school facilities. 

The college success program of Making Waves Foundation, CAP, picks up where MWA leaves off by supporting students through the successful completion of their college degrees, as quickly and with as little debt as possible. While nationally just 9% of students from low-income households have a college degree by age 24, 86% of CAP students are on track to graduate in six years. What makes CAP different is its combination of personalized coaching, financial literacy training, and scholarships. Upon graduation, CAP students are equipped with the skills to build meaningful careers and positively contribute to society. 

As pioneers of the to-and-through approach to college, Making Waves Foundation is expanding its capacity to serve more students. The Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit private operating foundation.