Charles' mother almost became a nun. He attributes his life philosophy on her example.
"She had a certain serenity about her and a love for life. Not just human life but animals and the very earth itself. We had a small orchard and she never once used pesticides. She believed the ants, slugs and all other creatures we think of as parasites had just as much right to the garden as we did."
He didn't intend to open a school for mutants. It started as a halfway house for youth considered too difficult to place in foster homes but not hardened enough to risk going to juvenile jail. He then realized that a disproportionate number of those youth were mutants, rejected because they still couldn't control their powers. The school still takes in baseline children occasionally; the school's mandate is to cater to gifted children, after all, and that isn't limited to mutant gifts.
"When you put a mutant child beside a baseline child, their
needs and problems are the same. Food, shelter, reading, writing
and arithmetic. A place to grow mentally, physically and emotionally.
Put so-called 'problem children' in a healthy environment and their
natural gifts surface, whether that be the power to control the
weather or the ability to play the guitar."