History - Cornerstone Schools
A Rich History Drives Our Future

Bold action backed by great ideas made Cornerstone Schools possible. This ethos of boldness is still active, ingrained into our culture and curriculum. It affects our students in all the right ways, teaching them the rewards of sound risk-taking — not just through textbooks and lectures, but through the example of our founders, teachers, and community leaders. 

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Our History

Cornerstone Schools has a long and rich history in Detroit. Learn more about our history and how we are fulfilling our mission below.


A Vision Unveiled
Heeding a call from Archbishop Adam Maida to help Detroit “make all things new again,” Cornerstone opens its doors to 167 students.


The Power of Partnership
The Cornerstone Partner Program is launched, pairing every student with an adult friend from the community — leaders from businesses, banks, hospitals, churches and schools. The highly-successful program fosters relationships between adults and students so students can learn what is possible in life through the experiences of others and receive guidance from someone who loves and cares about them.


A Foundation is Built
Cornerstone expands to three campuses, including the now flagship Nevada campus. Cornerstone launches its first capital campaign for new facilities, expanded enrollment, and an enhanced curriculum.


Investing In Growth
Cornerstone completes a $22 million capital campaign and inaugurates its classroom sponsor program, along with celebrating its 10 year anniversary.


A Turning Point
Golf legend Arnold Palmer agrees to host the Turning Point Invitational to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his come-from-behind victory at the 1954 U.S. Amateur Championship — all to benefit Cornerstone Schools and create more ‘turning points’ in the lives of Detroit children. The event helped raise more than $6 million for Cornerstone Schools and other local nonprofit groups.


Expansion Underway
Two new campuses are added: the Grove street campus in Detroit, and Appleton campus in Redford.


Charter Schools Established
Two campuses – Grove and Appleton – are converted from private to charter, becoming public school academies. They are now known as Lincoln-King Academy and Washington-Parks Academy, respectively, and bring Cornerstone’s rigorous academic standards to the public school arena.


A Full K-12 Program Now Offered
Cornerstone Nevada, the flagship private campus, opens its high school, including an internship program for its students with Detroit area companies. In this same year, two new charter schools in Detroit – Madison-Carver Academy and Cornerstone Health + Technology High School – are opened.


Delivering Real World Experiences
Deloitte Cornerstone Career Pathways is launched, providing internships and career exposure to high school students across the network. More companies are added across industries.


A Vision Realized, A Journey Continued
Cornerstone Education Group is established. Celebrating its second year of high school graduates, Cornerstone has been living the vision to “make all things new again.”


Jack Nicklaus plays in Cornerstone’s Turning Point Invitational
Jack Nicklaus plays in Cornerstone’s Turning Point Invitational golf event, turning the national spotlight on Cornerstone and helping raise support for Cornerstone’s mission.


Adams-Young Campus opens in the Grove Street Community
The former John King Elementary School is renovated and will now house the Lincoln-King K-5 students. This allows not only physical expansion of the Grove Street Community, but allows 6-12 grade students at Lincoln-King to have more space in their building and expand class sizes. The latest school is named for President John Adams and Ambassador Andrew Young. Ambassador Young says, “It is a brilliant thing to name the schools after a Founder and a Civil Rights Leader where the names become one. Forgiveness and generosity make possible a good and prosperous future for all.”


Cornerstone Serves Students During COVID-19
Despite state-wide school closures due to COVID-19, Cornerstone continues to move forward. Dedicated data mining reveals a dip in reading scores, prompting Cornerstone to double down on reading instruction to ensure students master this critical skill, even in the face of remote learning.


Cornerstone Launches the Andrew J. Young Cornerstone Center for the Complete Life
On our 31st anniversary, Cornerstone Schools and community partners came together to honor Andrew J. Young and dedicate The Andrew J. Young Cornerstone Center for the Complete Life. Young extended a blessing upon our work for now and generations to come. His life is a true inspiration to our entire Cornerstone community and his presence at Cornerstone during the event provided a reminder to our students, teachers and partners that we all are capable of living the Complete Life.