We Need Thousands More Like LeBron James’ I Promise School

LeBron James is being celebrated for his endeavor to open the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, and deservedly so. He’s in step with other great athletes who’ve used their resources to impact thousands of lives. 

LeBron James Speaks at the Opening of the I Promise School in Akron

LeBron James Speaks at the Opening of the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. Subscribe to the NBA: http://bit.ly/2rCglzY For news, stories, highlights and more, go to our official website at http://www.nba.com Get NBA LEAGUE PASS: http://www.nba.com/leaguepass

Jalen Rose‘s charter school in Detroit has a 94 percent graduation rate. Andre Agassi, Magic Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Serena Williams and David Robinson, among others, have been instrumental in opening educational facilities for disenfranchised or at-risk youth in America and abroad.

Many professional athletes who grew up in impoverished circumstances understand that they are only privileged because of what they can do on the field of play. However, they also recognize that the overwhelming majority of kids who grow up in similar circumstances will not be afforded a quality education.

Indeed, what LeBron is doing is admirable. But I’m left to wonder whether people realize just how Herculean a task it is to truly educate kids when local, state and federal officials only pay lip service to the ideals of what an education should be, and how the allocated resources aren’t distributed evenly.

LeBron’s $8 million state of the art school in Akron provides free bikes, breakfast, lunch and a snack, and a full college scholarship to the University of Akron for all who graduate from high school.

King James is providing a new beginning for 240 third and fourth graders who can be proud of their new school, and free to dream and wonder about their own limitless potential.  

The I PROMISE School

The LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools have partnered to design a brand new school for the public school students in Akron who need it most. A culmination of years of on-the-ground work and research-based interventions through LeBron’s I PROMISE program, the proposed I PROMISE School will be more than a 1st – 8th grade academic institution.

In 2014, Fortune reported that educational spending was only 7.3% of America’s gross domestic product. Globally, American students ranked 36th in mathematics, 28th in science, and 24th in reading. 

Meanwhile, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education of the United States, seems to not have a clue, and apparently could care less.

The concept of generational wealth is one that is often lost upon people from a contemporary perspective. Whether purposeful or disingenuous in nature, those who criticize individuals whose families are two or three generations deep in extreme poverty blame them.  

In America, where the fairy tale says that everyone has a chance to get ahead in the world and make their dreams come true with mere effort, we praise the rich while blaming the impoverished for their circumstances.  

We’re told a college degree is a definitive road out of poverty, but then comes the news that a black man with a college degree has less of a shot at being employed than a white man with a high school diploma.

We’re told that we should simply go to school and do our best to receive an education, but for many impoverished individuals, public school education further reminds us of our station in life, as tendrils of mold creep outward from wet spots in the ceiling tiles that harken a decade-old hole in the roof, or history books from the ’60s that refer to the civil rights movement with such phrases as “The Negro Problem”.  

From Biblical texts, we’re taught that the meek shall inherit the Earth and that to shepherd the children and the weak is something a truly Godly person would do.  

Yet, as we grow in size and acumen, we see that the weak are preyed upon, and children are treated as a nuisance at best in far too many scenarios.

The education problem in America rests with federal apathy. The level of national ineptitude and malaise requires billions of dollars to repair. 


CNN News Day W/Don Lemon 7/31/18 LERBRON JAMES TAKES DON ON AN EXLUSIVE TOUR OF HIS NEW “I PROMISE” SCHOOL https://youtu.be/jvobY99SXVs | | | Please Subscribe My Channel: https://bit.ly/2NHAIF5

Props to LeBron, for following in the footsteps of other accomplished athletes to provide educational opportunities for those most in need. Hopefully, his efforts will be replicated many times over, not only by individuals with wealth, but by a system that has long failed those who are most vulnerable.

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