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Making Waves

  • Making Waves
  • 3220 Blume Drive, Suite 250
  • Richmond, CA 94806
  • 510-964-2424
  • Jon Siapno
  • Director of College and Career Counseling

Program Description

Making Waves was founded more than 24 years ago 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.

"Throughout the history of the organization, our mission has been to save lives by giving our most challenged citizens an educational pathway to success," says Making Waves co-founder John H. Scully, who has seen the program grow from an after-school tutoring and mentoring program serving 46 students in Richmond in 1989 to a multi-city initiative that is serving nearly 1,200 "Wave-Makers" annually, with more than 260 of them currently attending hundreds of top colleges and universities nationwide.

Today, Making Waves Academy is a thriving charter school in Richmond, California, with both Middle and Upper schools on campus. Simultaneously, we continue to fulfill our original after-school program in both Richmond and San Francisco, Making Waves Education Program. Making Waves has also established a College and Alumni Program to support our Wave-Makers throughout their college journey and beyond, as they ultimately become valuable contributors to the workforce and their communities.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Arts and cultural
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College transition and retention support
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Mentoring
  • Parent/family services
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants


Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 500
  • Middle School: 375
  • Elementary School: 125
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically High-performing


  • Less than 25%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Harvard College
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Morehouse College
  • Occidental College
  • Pitzer College
  • Princeton University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Stanford University
  • Tufts University
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Southern California

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 95%
  • 4-yr College Graduation: 74%