LeBron James refuses to allow society to box him into being solely an athlete. Knowing first-hand what it means to overcome adversity at an early age, the L.A. Lakers’ newest star has found the ultimate way to give back to his hometown by opening the “I Promise School.”
If we were to break this down from the perspective of team ability, it’s fair to say that James and his partnership with Akron Public Schools are currently starters, while Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education are second string.
The new school, which aims to help 1,200 children enter college by 2029, opened its doors today as a joint effort between the James’ Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools.
With plans to expand in the future, the school currently has two grades, third, and fourth, according to
big dreams for the kids in Akron to give them everything they could need to find their passion, give back to our community and change the world!! This school is that. The people are that. Akron is that.
@LJFamFoundation we’ve always done it big
— LeBron James (@KingJames)
July 29, 2018
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… https://t.co/PwmRaHRfng
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 29, 2018
The outlet’s senior writer, Brian Windhorst, explained that children who complete the program are guaranteed free college tuition at the University of Akron, beginning in 2021, with the help of James. Along with providing for students, the program aims to light a path for the parents to earn their high school diplomas and advanced education.
And, while James has gone on record before making reflective statements such as, “I’m just a kid from Akron” and “I’m not supposed to be here, I’m supposed to be a statistic,” as Windhorst pointed out, he’s turning those reflections into lofty action for a city with a 25 percent
poverty rate and median income of slightly more than $35,000.
Majority of U.S. Public Schools in Poverty
It was just three years ago when the
Washington Post reported that majority of U.S. public students were in poverty. Given the lack of justification behind many of DeVos’ new policies, you have to wonder, why isn’t the government working harder
Deeming efficiency as the priority over that of students and their civil rights, is one of many ways in which DeVos appears to miss aim.
“The fact is, we’ve had growing inequality in the country for many years,” Kent McGuire, president of the Southern Education Foundation, told the Post.
He added, “It didn’t happen overnight, but it’s steadily been happening. Government used to be a source of leadership and innovation around issues of economic prosperity and upward mobility. Now we’re a country disinclined to invest in our young people.”
One of the world’s most famous basketball players and arguably, one of the best to step on the court, seems to understand that concept of investing in the youth.
Despite enduring challenges that nearly held him back from attending school regularly in elementary school, with the help of Frank and Pam Walker who took James under their motivational wings, he managed to focus on education.
He’s now turning what was once a focus on his education, into a focus on others.