Akron’s hometown, hardwood hero is delivering residents another gift in the form of education. LeBron James is in the works of developing and building his own school, I PROMISE, in a partnership with his LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron’s public schools. Announced Tuesday (Apr. 11) on the foundation’s Facebook page, the school will cater to children from the first to eighth grades and offer a four-year scholarship to those students who qualify.
The school is set to open its doors during the fall of 2018 and will drive a “STEM/Problem-Based Learning focus” in communion with the foundation’s “‘We Are Family’ philosophy” in order to cultivate a home for its students and families.
James recently served as one of the faces of Verizon’s #WeNeedMore campaign alongside model, Adriana Lima and New Orleans quarterback, Drew Brees. The focus of the campaign was to raise awareness to the nine million jobs available in STEM fields, hopefully filling these spots. The Cavaliers’ forward took it a step forward and offered his own Instagram post to expand on his connection to the campaign. So there’s no surprise in the targeted focus of the I PROMISE school.
We don’t need more LeBron’s, we need more physical therapists, scientists, police officers, teachers, doctors, professors, physicists, computer engineers, etc!! I want every kid to know there is absolutely NO LIMIT to what you can be. Your dreams are there for you to EARN. The teacher/accountant/scientist/dr/etc is just as talented as any athlete, if not more. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how many incredible men & women I work with who have never seen the court but are just as vital to our success as I am. There’s no way my game is what it is without them. Open your heart & mind to the world around you. See the possible. Dream big. Then work your tail off and chase it. s/o to everyone involved in #weneedmore. #striveforgreatness #earnednotgiven
The new school will be an extension of the foundation’s elementary and secondary education programs of the same name. The program “wraps its arms” around kids who begin to fall behind in comparison to their peers to provide them “the resources, mentorship, and encouragement they need to stay on track.”
James has attested that working with the kids through the program taught the foundation what works and motivates the young scholars. The franchise player claims, “… now we can bring all of that together in one place along with the right resources and experts. If we get to them early enough, we can hopefully keep them on the right track to a bigger and brighter future for themselves and their families.”
James is probably one of the best athletes to embark on this endeavor, partly due to his related upbringing and his ability to use his basketball platform to diversify his business ventures, while giving back to the communities dearest to him. The Akron native secured a lifetime deal with Nike, became an investor in pizza franchise, Blaze, and has co-founded Springhill Entertainment which has deals with the likes of Disney, Showtime and NBC. He not only talks the talk, but walks the walk, and then an extra victory lap.
The superintendent of Akron’s Public Schools, David James had this to say about the forthcoming opening: “We are excited about the potential of the I PROMISE School to provide specialized programming and invaluable resources for our students.” He continues, “We’ve seen the positive influence of the LeBron James Family Foundation on our students and we look forward to continuing to do everything we can to put our students in a position to be successful.”