23 Big Dreams

In this "23 Big Dreams" series, the LeBron James Family Foundation and its broadcast partner, WKYC, highlight a new Akron Public School student and his or her career aspirations each week. With a tuition and fees scholarship from The University of Akron, the commitment of college has changed their personal goals and their expectations for their futures. Like LeBron, these are just kids from Akron with big dreams.

Biomimicry is a complex process that involves layers of studies seeking sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s patterns. It involves a high level of mind-boggling intricacies and words most adults can’t even pronounce, let alone comprehend. But to 12-year-old Christian Presutti, this scientific jargon is just everyday fodder.

Considered something of a walking encyclopedia by his friends and family, Christian is a true science whiz. Before the age of three, he had already memorized all of the planets in the solar system and could recite them in order. Perhaps a byproduct of the "Baby Einstein" videos he watched as an infant, Christian developed a love of science and exploring that has only multiplied as he’s aged.

Now a soon-to-be 7th grader at STEM Middle School in Akron, Christian is applying his time and energy towards a rare combination of advanced scientific professions. In layman’s terms, Christian’s big dream is to become either an astrophysicist or a marine biologist. Currently leaning towards the latter, he knows this dream is not going to come by nature. It’s going to require a lot of hard work, and more specifically, a solid college education. But Christian’s sites aren’t just set on a bachelor’s degree, he’s aiming for a PhD.

Aside from his lazer-like focus on his studies, Christian has been a longtime participant in the LeBron James Family Foundation’s Wheels for Education and now Akron I PROMISE Network programs. He says it’s the promise he shares with LeBron that motivates him to continue on his path to his dream.

"The promise means a lot to me. It inspires me to do my best, always try hard…," his voice trails off as he looks for the words to adequately express its impact. "It just means so much."

Another thing that means a lot to Christian and his family is the commitment of a college education from LeBron, the Foundation, and The University of Akron. With Christian’s big dream requiring many years of college education, the scholarship has served as a motivating factor for Christian and a huge relief for his family.

"It was always understood that he would go to college, and his plan is to get a PhD, so the fact that at least his bachelor’s degree would be covered is just amazing," says his mom, Lauren Presutti. "God brought us to Ohio for a reason. It is a huge blessing."

In LeBron, Christian has a role model, leader, and fellow kid from Akron showing him that it is possible to achieve his dreams. Christian knows the many years of school and higher education he has ahead of him, but he also knows it’s possible because he’s seen it happen before.

"LeBron is just a kid from Akron. He was able to work hard and do his best, and look where it got him."

Thanks to LeBron’s support and The University of Akron’s commitment, the entire Akron community can’t wait to see where Christian’s big dream and college education will get him.