Wave LF End-of-Term Summary: What We Did (And Baked!) in the Fall
by Karly Hou
Dear Wave Family,
Happy Holidays! Congratulations to every student, parent, and educator for finishing strong this semester at school, especially given ongoing pandemic challenges. As the last few days of 2021 go by, I’d like to take a look back at all we’ve done together this fall term.
This semester, we’re proud to have launched several new initiatives.
- Accessibility was one of our key focuses. We added full subtitles to each of our videos, and are working on producing full transcripts for each of our podcast episodes (thanks to one of our past instructors, Emma, for the suggestion). We tested our website’s color combinations against several kinds of colorblindness and improved our contrast. On a larger scale, we’re opening up accessibility to courses and tutoring for those without high-speed internet by building more asynchronous options, like our text-based tutoring community (and a super cool, slightly secret project coming soon!).
- We brought on board several new partners. We’re super excited to continue serving the Lang School this semester, as well as several new schools and organizations (ICEF Schools and Black Girls Do STEM)! It’s been an honor to work with these awesome students and watch them grow. In addition, we are extremely thankful to bring on Citibank as our newest sponsor. Citibank is committed to supporting career readiness, economic opportunities for low-income communities, and racial equity, and we can’t wait to see what we can build with their support.
- Our tutoring team launched Wave Learning Festival Clubs! This semester, students in our community came together to bake some tasty treats and enjoy other activities together. Check out some of their talented creations:
4. Our work was recognized by the Harvard Social Impact Fellowship Fund and Harvard Social Innovation + Change Initiative. From a highly competitive pool of teams, we were selected as one of six teams to pitch. Stay tuned for updates early Spring! In addition, we were selected as 1 of 16 teams from a wide pool of candidates to take part in Harvard Kennedy School’s Cheng Fellowship/SICI program. Thank you for your confidence in our work and support of our mission.
Equally important — we’ve been hard at work keeping your favorite services great:
- Tutoring has been running smoothly every day.
- We ran several college- and opportunity-focused events for our high school community.
- We launched 25 new podcast episodes, with inspiring guests discussing everything from artificial intelligence to political cartooning to medical school. Listeners from 25 countries around the world played it thousands of times.
- Our tech team improved loading times by over 90% across the website, put in place a tutoring confirmation email system, improved our newsletter subscribe/unsubscribe system, improved student workflows
Lastly, I wanted to highlight some major wins for our community:
- This season, high-schooler Wave Learning Festival organizers were admitted to amazing colleges around the world! Thank you for your incredible term-time dedication, congratulations on your achievements, and warmest wishes for your journeys ahead.
- We loved bringing in the community to volunteer with us — thanks to Harvard Day of Service and others who contributed to our instructional material!
As the year comes to a close, we can’t say thank you enough to all of you for making our community as awesome as it is. To our tutors, instructors, organizers, moderators, and even one-time volunteers, thank you for being the heart and soul of Wave Learning Festival. To our students, parents, and educators, thank you for trusting us to support your educational journey. To our mentors, donors, and everyone cheering us on, thank you for elevating our mission. An extra thanks to some super special mentors who have given so much advice, time, and care this term:
- Gemma Lenowitz & Uchenna Ezibe, Overdeck Family Foundation
- Professor Mike Smith, Harvard University
- Deborah Quazzo, GSV Ventures
- Ally Philip, Alondra Ramirez, & Colleen Kelly, Harvard SICI
- Rebekah Emanuel, Harvard iLab
- Bridget Burns, University Innovation Alliance
- Annie Greene, Jamie Roach, Chmba Chilemba, Ali Caplan, We Are Family Foundation
With so much love and gratitude,
Karly Hou & the Wave Learning Festival team
P.S. Feeling charitable this holiday season and want to support our work? Make a tax-deductible donation to Wave Learning Festival. 100% of donations go toward building better services for students and schools.
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Wave Learning Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing free, live seminars, tutoring, college application help, career mentorship and more. If you would like to learn more about Wave Learning Festival, check out our website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please consider contributing to Wave’s mission of making education accessible to all.