What are we looking for from our athletes? What do you expect from a 33-year-old man of color with no college education? What do you think the odds of this individual being successful in today’s society would be?
Most would answer these questions the same way. Nothing. The odds of a man of color with only a high school education in today’s society becoming successful are slim. Yet, there are many of us who fit this description and we fight each and every day to make something of ourselves and to be relevant in the lives of those in our families and our community. So one could understand why when someone that looks like us, talks like us, and is from the same type of neighborhoods that we are from, grows to be one of the most successful and decorated athletes of all time, how we can view that individual as a real life hero.
Here’s the crazy part, our hero keeps performing greater demonstrations of heroism. LeBron James and the LeBron James Family Foundation recently was apart of the grand opening of the iPromise Institute which is apart of the Akron Ohio Public School system where the inaugural class will consist of 240 at-risk third and fourth graders. The school will anticipate yearly growth, as it will expand to grades K-8 and hold and house an estimated 900+ students.
At the iPromise Institute, students eat breakfast with their teachers. The school day runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., from July through May. After lunch, students come together in a “supportive circle” to unwind after recess and refocus on learning. The adults charged with raising these children have access to services to obtain a GED and receive help with job placement. The kids wear uniforms provided to them for free. James bought bicycles and helmets for every student. He provided the food pantry and the clothing center.
In addition to the founding partner University, the University of Akron, Kent State University has also joined forces with the LeBron James Family Foundation. That commitment has materialized in a partnership that includes summer programming and increased mentorship opportunities for the foundations oldest iPROMISE students.
“As our oldest I PROMISE students continue to find their footing in high school, they’re at that pivotal time where it’s critical they get all the support they need to stay on track,” said Michele Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation. “The team at Kent State has listened to their needs and immediately turned those conversations into action, recognizing that every single day is valuable when it comes to educating our kids and getting them college and career ready.”
I Promise, to go to school, to do all of my homework, to listen to my teachers because they will help me learn, to ask questions and find answers, to never give up no matter what, to always try my best, to be helpful and respectful to others, to live a healthy life by eating right and being active, to make good choices for myself, to have fun and above all else – to finish school! Hip-Hop recording artist, Big Sean, made the statement, “And when you get it all just remember one thing, remember one thing, that one man could change the world.”
LeBron James, you’re literally changing the world before our eyes and we are all just happy to be a WITNESS!
Find Out More www.lebronjamesfamilyfoundation.org/page/ipromiseschool