The LeBron James Family Foundation’s mission is to positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives. We believe that an education and living an active, healthy lifestyle is pivotal to the development of children and young adults. - Michele Campbell
LeBron James Family Foundation
But with everything that we have, we are most fortunate for the people who supported us along the way. From supportive teachers, passionate mentors and encouraging coaches to my awesome mother and my family, my gift was cultivated by the entire Akron community. Whether we were moving to a new school for a fourth time or changing apartments for a fifth time, mom and I were surrounded by open arms and great care.
Our experiences have taught us that every single child has a gift and, just as mine was, those gifts deserve to be cultivated.
Right before I went into the draft, we created the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF). Mom and I wanted to create a foundation that, regardless of where I was playing, would be dedicated to giving back to the community by enriching the support system that helped us along our journey. Today, that commitment has grown bigger and better than we ever could have imagined.
We’re staffed entirely by volunteers. From Mom and my wife Savannah to my business partner Maverick, all the way to the local experts that inform our work, it’s a family affair.
Just as I work to improve my game, I also work to improve my Foundation and its effectiveness, year after year. We started out with a Bikeathon, and while it was fun and a great event for the community, it wasn’t enough. After some reflection on what I truly wanted to achieve, I realized I had to dig deeper if I really wanted to make a difference. So in 2011, the Bikeathon evolved into the Wheels for Education program. We still give kids bikes, but it’s only part of the bigger mission. I don’t want any of my kids to become a statistic and drop out of school, like I so easily could have been.
What started out as a group of a couple hundred third graders is now nearing 1,200 Akron Public Schools students and growing by the year. We’ve expanded with the Akron I PROMISE Network for my middle school kids to make sure we’re meeting their needs as well. And my kids know if they put in the work, they’ve got a full, four-year scholarship to The University of Akron waiting for them.
Back when I was a student searching for Akron on the world map, I dreamed I would someday be in a position to give back to the community that had done so much for me. Seeing these students succeed and create a better life for themselves and their families is what drives me daily. Their dreams are my dreams. They are my purpose, and together, we can change the world.
I’ll never forget the day I got my first bike. It was like being handed keys to the world. The city was my playground and from that moment on, mom could never keep me in the house! I rode the streets of Akron from basketball court to basketball court. It’s where I found my love for basketball; but more importantly, it’s where I fell in love with this community.
No matter where my family and my friends went, we were always welcomed. From Summit Lake Rec Center to St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, the connections we made as kids have stayed with us as adults.
Our Foundation is proud to partner with Akron and Northeast Ohio businesses and organizations. They are the lifeline of the entire operation. From our event branding and monthly experience outings to our business cards and website, we keep it all in the family.
I was born here, I was raised here and no matter where I go in the world, my family and I will always call this great city home. After all, I’m just a kid from Akron.
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