...And so much more to come
As the calendar changes over, the LeBron James Family Foundation’s commitment to creating change continues to grow. Year after year, the work gets deeper… more strategic… and more impactful than ever before. 2018 saw LeBron’s work in education soar to heights never seen before, and what an incredible journey it was.
The Foundation’s monumental year brought with it the opening of the I PROMISE School – a game-changing public school and new reality for families in Akron that was only a dream a few short years ago.
The Foundation’s monumental year brought with it the opening of the I PROMISE School – a game-changing public school and new reality for families in Akron that was only a dream a few short years ago. In the first half of the school year, IPS has record attendance and participation for Akron Public Schools families; its built-in Family Resource Center is providing job and family services, legal aid, GED classes, a full-time food pantry and other critical resources, with over 100 of our IPS families on I PROMISE plans that chart a step-by-step path to a better future; and it has become a beacon of interest and inspiration for impactful visitors from across the country, hosting Columbus City Schools, Justin Timberlake, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Jarvis Landry, and the Duquesne Men’s Basketball Team for tours and hands-on learning experiences with our students.
The opening of the I PROMISE School was selected by Google as one of the most important moments of the year and is featured in its annual best moments short film that is airing nationally following its broadcast debut on New Year’s Eve (watch here). And the magic happening daily in year one at IPS is all being captured for a documentary with our family at SpringHill Entertainment.
2018 also saw the completion of phase one of the Foundation’s I PROMISE Institute on the University of Akron campus, a full-service resource for our older I PROMISE students that will attend UA beginning in 2021. We also renovated the Balch Street Community Center gymnasium less than a mile away from IPS with our partners from 2K to provide a gem for the Akron community and our students to enjoy. With help from our family at JP Morgan Chase, we’ve secured mentors for all of our parents working on their GEDs in the I PROMISE Too program. We also sent 65 of our I PROMISE Network students to a three-week ACT prep camp at Kent State University, secured college mentors for three of the middle schools in the I PROMISE Network with the help of the University of Akron, provided more than 200 pairs of free glasses to our kids and families in need thanks to our friends at Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons, and committed $100,000 to honor LeBron’s roots at St. Vincent-St. Mary high school.
All of this work and so much more is in progress, with plans for more to come in the new year as we prepare to welcome a brand new class of students and families to the I PROMISE School while our oldest students head in to their junior year of high school.
With LeBron’s work off the court in 2018 being recognized by the Associated Press, who named him their Male Athlete of the Year largely for his impact outside of sports, and by Inside Philanthropy as their Sports Philanthropist of the Year, the honors serve as further fuel to keep pushing to do more.
And there is still so much more to do. Along with our growing and vitally important family of partners, the Foundation’s work will continue to grow deeper… more strategic… and even more life-changing than ever before in 2019 and every year to come.