NBA star Lebron James announced last Thursday that his foundation is collaborating with the University of Akron to sponsor over a thousand scholarships for kids in his I Promise program. The program, based in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, is a part of the LeBron James Family Foundation’s initiative to help finance children’s education.
Though the initiative primarily catered to students from third to seventh grade, it is now also extending tuition support for college students who meet the program’s requirements. James shared with ESPN his intentions behind the new scholarship program:
“I think it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever been apart of, this is very special to me. As a kid growing up in the inner city and as an African American kid, you don’t really think past high school because it’s not possible or your family can’t support you. For us to be able to do something like this… it means so much.”
In an interview with NBC’s “Today,” James said:
“If I can put 1,100 kids in college, that means I’ve done something where I can give back.”
The four-year academic scholarship will make a difference for students who come from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background.
One year’s tuition at the University of Akron is approximated to cost $9,500. James will spend an estimated $41.8 million to sponsor 1,100 kids’ four-year degrees at the University of Akron — essentially his paycheck for two seasons with the Cavaliers.