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.

Miah Massey’s road to college began long before she can even remember. With her mom working full-time as a dental assistant during the day and taking classes towards her degree in business management at night, Miah had no choice but to tag along to her mom’s evening coursework at The University of Akron. During the classes, the bright-eyed four-year-old would sit among the college-age students, often times "taking notes" by doodling and drawing on scratch paper. She also got to talk to the professors who would occasionally let her write her name on the big board in the front of the classroom.

Those days and nights were long for her mother, but to Miah, they were the foundation of an undoubted commitment to a college education. She would one day find a way to follow in her mom’s footsteps and attend The University of Akron, no matter what it takes. And while the destination was always crystal clear, the route she would take was sometimes blurry.

Then something happened that would change her life’s course forever.

When Miah entered third grade, she entered the LeBron James Family Foundation’s original class of "Wheels for Education" students. With this added layer of support, Miah’s confidence in and outside of the classroom soared, and even allowed her to introduce LeBron James in front of the First Lady of the United States without a tinge of nerves. As the calendar years have turned, the always singing and smiling young lady has broadened her horizons and experienced new things thanks to the Foundation, and her commitment to college has never wavered. But in the back of her mind, there was always an unspoken, economic hurdle standing between her and her ultimate goal.

With LeBron’s and The University of Akron’s commitment of a guaranteed college education for all of his kids who complete the program, Miah’s path has once again become clear. Now an 8th grader at East Middle School, and with the weight of the financial burden of college no longer weighing her and her family down, Miah has high hopes for her future.

"The scholarship motivates me every day because I know if I don’t go to college, I can’t pursue my dream of being a doctor," she says.

Always the first to jump in and help when needed, Miah is sure to make an amazing doctor. With the Akron Public School system, the LeBron James Family Foundation, and The University of Akron all behind her, she will have all the support, encouragement, and inspiration she needs to make it.

Watching LeBron raise the long-awaited NBA Championship trophy for the world to see made Miah really happy for one, simple reason:

"He’s a kid from Akron, and he knows what it’s like to grow up in Akron, so if he could get through it, so can I. So can we all."

Miah Massey’s roadmap to her future has never been more clear. Like LeBron, she will overcome the odds and achieve her ultimate goal because of her hard work, determination, and the unwavering support of the Akron community, all who believe in her and her big dream.