Placeholder text, please change

Mission and History

Our Mission 

Camino Nuevo Charter Academy educates students in a college preparatory program to be literate, critical thinkers, and independent problem solvers who are agents of social justice with sensitivity toward the world around them.

Our History 

Camino Nuevo Charter Academy was founded in 1999 by Pueblo Nuevo Development, a nonprofit community development corporation in the MacArthur Park neighborhood west of downtown Los Angeles. The first campus opened its doors to students in August 2000. The MacArthur Park neighborhood is one of the city's most under-resourced and densely populated neighborhoods. Most of the residents are immigrants from Mexico and Central America. In 1992, Dr. Philip Lance began working with residents of the community to find ways to address the severe economic and social needs in the area. Over the next 10 years, several organizations and businesses grew out of this effort, including a thrift store, a worker-owned janitorial company, a non-profit community development corporation, a free clinic and Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. Together, these organizations have transformed the MacArthur Park neighborhood into a safe and healthy place to live and Camino Nuevo schools have provided children with outstanding and enriched educational opportunities.
Dr. Philip Lance, Founder and Board President Emeritus
Dr. Philip Lance is a nationally recognized leader in the field of community development with extensive experience in community organizing, fundraising, and nonprofit management. In addition to being a founder of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Dr. Lance served as its Board President for 16 years. He also founded and led Pueblo Nuevo Development, a non-profit community development corporation, from 1993 to 2016. In this capacity, he raised $32 million from private philanthropy to help build the Camino Nuevo school facilities. Dr. Lance is an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church and currently works as a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice.
Paul Cummins, Co-Founder and Board Emeritus
Paul Cummins has devoted his life to creating opportunities for children from all backgrounds to have access to quality education that engages them, respects them, and inspires them to develop a lifelong passion for learning. In 1971, he co-founded Crossroads School in Santa Monica and, under his leadership, the school became one of the most successful educational institutions in Los Angeles and a national model for innovative, independent schools. In 1995, Mr. Cummins stepped down as Headmaster of Crossroads and formed New Visions Foundation (now Coalition for Engaged Education) to offer opportunities for Engaged Education to all youth. Mr. Cummins has since implemented a number of innovative programs to help children at risk. He earned a B.A. from Stanford University, his MAT from Harvard, and his doctorate from the University of Southern California. He has served as a trustee on over 20 boards. Mr. Cummins and his wife Mary Ann reside in Santa Monica. They have four daughters and five grandchildren.