LeBron James is a pretty stellar human being. Back in 2015, he announced the I Promise campaign, wherein he would send as many as 2,300 kids to college through the LeBron James Family Foundation as long as they graduate from high school with at least a 3.0. Now, Kent State University has announced that it has partnered with the LeBron James Family Foundation to provide free tuition for all four years of college to all eligible students in the I Promise network classes. Those students will also receive free room and board for one year.
Michele Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation said: "The I PROMISE program is built on the 'earned, not given' philosophy. We are so excited that our students that have worked incredibly hard have earned even more life-changing opportunities to grow and excel."
Currently, there are 193 students in the oldest I Promise Network classes. Those students are currently juniors in high school, so they will be eligible for the Kent State offer in the 2021-22 academic year. To be eligible for the free tuition, the students must be successfully admitted to Kent State as well as fill out the required financial aid forms and complete a certain amount of community service hours each semester. Like any scholarship, to remain eligible, the students must remain in good academic standing as well as complete a minimum number of credit hours and community service hours.
When LeBron announced the I Promise program in the Akron, Ohio school district in 2015, he said: "It's the reason I do what I do. These students have big dreams, and I'm happy to do everything I can to help them get there. They're going to have to earn it, but I'm excited to see what these kids can accomplish knowing that college is in their futures."
LeBron James made news in 2018 when he revealed a further commitment to Akron, Ohio students with the I Promise School. I Promise School's first wave of students are 240 at-risk third and fourth graders. There are plans to expand the school to a student body of more than 1,000 kids. Last November, James announced his plans for the new I Promise Village, which will provide transitional housing for students and their families. It is expected to open in July 2020, in time for families to settle in by the start of the next school year.