On Monday, the doors opened to the I Promise School founded by LeBron James and his nonprofit foundation. The NBA superstar launched the traditional public school to help at-risk third and fourth graders in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. The students who graduate are guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron, but the school is providing much more to support the community, including GED and job placement services for parents and food pantries to the students’ families.
James took to Instagram on July 31 to share all the amenities given to its enrollees. Superimposed on a photo of himself at the opening ceremony was a list of all the school has to offer outside of the conventional education tools.
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
He captioned the image with a prayer emoji and the hashtags #WeAreFamily and #MoreThanAnAthlete.
James said opening the school was the “greatest moment” of his life. He decided to do it because he could relate to being a fourth grader in Akron and missing 83 days of school. “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,” he said on opening day, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.