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Academia Avance Focuses on Student Success Not Charter School Financing

Charter School Capital

May 5, 2014


“Without Charter School Capital, we honestly wouldn’t exist.”
Those are the words of Ricardo Mireles, executive director of Academia Avance charter school in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Fortunately, Charter School Capital was there so that he and his team could focus on what really matters – their students. Academia Avance was founded in 2005 with 100 students in the 6th and 7th grades. Today, it serves 500 students grades 6-12, preparing them for college and career.
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Dedicated to the idea that all students have a right to pursue a college education, Academia Avance offers rigorous course work relevant to today’s changing world, from language classes in Mandarin Chinese to computer classes in programming and robotics. However, what makes the school special is that it doesn’t just rely on books and testing to teach their students. With the understanding that hands-on experiences are vital to academic excellence, the school combines traditional classroom study with learning through projects, multi-cultural experiences and even internships at local businesses.
The results of this inter-disciplinary model are indisputable. In 2012, 100% of Academia Avance’s graduating students were accepted to 4-year university programs – a truly remarkable achievement. But it almost didn’t happen.
When Academia Avance was founded, funding for the school from the state of California proved inconsistent. The school wasn’t able to secure a traditional bank loan because they didn’t have a building to put up as collateral. To pay the bills, school administrators went looking for alternative options in charter school financing. That’s when they found Charter School Capital.
According to Mireles, Charter School Capital provided the flexibility, patience and professionalism in charter school funding needed to get Academia Avance up and running. “They allowed us to say ‘this month we need this much.’ I’m really appreciative of how Charter School Capital was able to understand what our need was.” Mireles believes he has a true partner in Charter School Capital, one that genuinely believes in the school’s mission and supports what the school is trying to accomplish. “It allows us to stay focused on our mission and our students.”

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