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Photo of Making Waves Foundation

Making Waves Foundation

Contact: Paula Groves
Work 3220 Blume Drive Suite 250 Richmond, CA 94806 Work Phone: (510) 237-6027 Website: http://www.makingwavesacademy.org/



Making Waves was founded in 1989 when an investment fund manager worked with a local pastor in one of the most underserved cities in California to offer low-income students the same academic and developmental supports that families in the nation’s most affluent communities enjoy.

Today, Making Waves has evolved from a small afterschool program serving 46 5th graders in the first year of operation to: supporting 1,200 students through a thriving charter school in Richmond, California (Making Waves Academy), College & Alumni Program to support our Wave-Makers throughout their college journey and beyond and a Foundation (Making Waves Foundation); all ultimately to support our students getting to and through college.


Making Waves Foundation (MWF) is a 501C(3) non-profit organization responsible for management and strategic planning, oversight, and external affairs/public relations and development initiatives to support Making Waves Academy (our public charter school which opened in 2007) and our College & Alumni Program (CAP).

The Foundation’s focus is increasing and expanding the reach of Making Waves so that many more under-represented and under-resourced students in the Bay Area can benefit from our educational programs and services.

Most recently, MWF has reconfigured and increased its commitment to building a ‘growth-minded’ approach. In collaboration with Business Services, Development, Communications, Strategic Initiatives, MWF will expand MWA and CAP’s organizational footprint and philanthropic vision well into the future.


Making Waves Foundation College and Alumni Program (CAP) is dedicated to getting students not just to college, but through college. More than 95 percent of Wave-Makers are the first in their families to go to college, so our extensive support services, delivered from inception through Making Waves Education Program, continue to shepherd them through the higher education maze. We provide admission, housing and financial aid counseling and application support, college tours, advice on the selection of courses and majors, ongoing academic and social mentoring, and tuition grants. Additionally, we’ve expanded our reach with CAP Bay Area, extending support to students from the surrounding nine Bay Area counties.


Opened in 2007, Making Waves Academy (MWA) is our public charter school that aims to help our students become college-ready. Through an efficacy-model approach to instruction and intervention, students are supported to attain mastery in their core academic skills. Making Waves Academy is one school comprised of Middle School and Upper School divisions and their corresponding campuses. The Middle School serves fifth-eighth grades, the Upper School ninth-twelfth grades.