LeBron James has achieved many great things thus far throughout his 15-year career.
However, James has claimed that opening the new I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio is perhaps his greatest achievement yet.
James stated via Twitter:
“The jitters before the first day of school are real right now!!! Tomorrow is going to be one of the greatest moments (if not the greatest) of my life when we open the #IPROMISE School. This skinny kid from Akron who missed 83 days of school in the 4th grade had big dreams…”
The I Promise School is a joint project between the LeBron James Family Foundation and the Akron Public School system. The school will start off by educating a total of 240 students between 3rd and 4th grade. The school hopes to expand every year, with the goal of eventually becoming a school that teaches children from 1st through 8th grade.
The current 240 students were selected based on socioeconomic status and educational performance. The object of the I Promise School is to incentivize children to stay in school and to eventually attain a higher level of education. However, the school also aims to show children that they can “become the LeBron James of their passion and dream in life,” as Michele Campbell of the LeBron James Family Foundation stated.
LeBron knows what it’s like to live through hardship at a young age. In a video on Twitter, James stated:
“I know these kids basically more than they know themselves. I walked the same streets. I rode the same bikes on the streets that they ride on. I went through the same emotions. The good, the bad, the adversity. Everything these kids are going through, the drugs, the violence, the guns, everything they’re going through as kids, I know.”
Because James has experienced hardship before, he knows how to prevent it from negatively affecting children’s’ lives. Making sure that children are learning, engaged, and occupied in school is the best way to keep them from going down a dangerous path in life.
James posted a photo on Instagram detailing what the I Promise School offers its students:
Free bicycle and helmet
Free transportation within two miles
Free breakfast, lunch and snacks
Food pantry for families
GEDs and job placement services for parents
Guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron for every student who graduates”
Every single child who graduates from the I Promise School has been guaranteed free tuition at the University of Akron. All of these students will have the opportunity to get a full college education, on top of the education they receive from the I Promise School itself. James, in effect, is saving thousands of children’s lives with this school.
The I Promise School displays images of James and other basketball stars alongside 114 pairs of LeBron’s shoes in its main corridor.
LeBron did, however, recently sign a 4-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. This fact means that he won’t be able to visit the I Promise School’s students as often as he would like.
“It’s kind of bitter sweet timing because on this hand I have a brand new school that’s opening and I want to be there on a day-to-day basis, 10 toes down for these kids. And then on the other hand, I’m moving. I’m moving to Los Angeles. This is kind of like a dream come true for me.”
However, many believe that LeBron will check on the I Promise School frequently. LeBron is truly a modern-day hero for the inner city.
Feature Image via Keith Allison