Advancing America Toward Justice
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Ricardo Mireles

Executive Director, Academia Avance

Let’s eliminate all the shock and surprise and instead be ready. Fear is a natural response but what we’re pushing here at the school is that this is not the type of fear that pushes people to panic and paralysis.
— Ricardo Mireles Executive Director, Academia Avance

After four years in the LA Unified School District, Mr. Mireles realized that even more than new school facilities, Los Angeles needed a new way of schooling kids. He was on the LAUSD team that launched the planning and construction of 120 new schools. He left to help start the California Charter Schools Association, then founded Academia Avance, a college preparatory charter public school, in 2005. Academia Avance has a 98% Latinx student population, serves over 400 students in grades 6-12, and 84% of last year’s graduating class were accepted to 4-year academic institutions.

Mr. Mireles has taught at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, is a graduate of the Don Bosco Technical Institute, has a B.A. in Anthropology from Columbia College, and has completed graduate work in urban planning at MIT. He lives with his wife in Highland Park, and their son Sol is in his first year at Cooper Union.