Wave Learning Festival
Wave Learning Festival is combatting long-standing educational inequities exacerbated by the pandemic. Leveraging newfound student comfort with online learning technologies, we provide a central free, online, live-learning platform where K-12 students can receive daily tutoring on various subjects, 24/7 asynchronous homework help with tutors, exploratory seminars, college application and financial aid help, career exploration opportunities, summer camp, and more. Our tutors and instructors are dedicated college students and high school upperclassmen trained to engage younger students. In addition, we support underserved schools directly through personalized programs, whether that looks like a dedicated tutoring team or college application sessions. Ultimately, we hope to build a world where every student, regardless of background, has access to all the resources and support they need to succeed.
In March 2020, the pandemic closed schools across the US. As a college student, I remember reaching out to old friends from high school and hearing about their struggles: they had no classes, could rarely see their teachers, and had very little support. I could only imagine how students around the world were struggling, especially low-income youth. So I started Wave as a way to bring together college students to teach free, live, online, engaging seminars on all sorts of topics for middle and high schoolers—to give students a fun way to keep learning during a disrupted summer. As we moved into the fall, we realized that these issues were only the tip of much deeper inequities embedded in our educational systems, and that we needed to support students year-round with tutoring, mentorship, and future pathways. Though other online learning platforms exist, we uniquely engage and support students because of our key live component—students get to engage in lively discussion, collaborate on projects, receive personalized feedback, and feel supported in a community of peers.
In just one year, we’ve transformed Wave Learning Festival into an international 501(c)(3) nonprofit delivering free, live, online, personalized, high-quality educational resources to 15,000+ students from all 50 US states and 62 countries abroad. We’ve provided 500+ courses and 3000+ hours of tutoring, partnered with 600+ schools and libraries to ensure our resources reach those who need them most, built a volunteer community of 1000+, been featured on the Today Show/NBC/ABC/FOX/NYT, been funded by the Overdeck Foundation, and more. But this is only the start of our journey. We are constantly re-evaluating our understanding of the landscape, educating ourselves about what our students need most, tweaking our services, and bringing in the community to better our work. We have big dreams to transform the ways students can access education and mentorship, and will work hard to make them happen.