Giving Compass’ Take:
• Sydney Johnson at EdSurge discusses LeBron James’ I Promise program and his long-term vision to send students to college. Johnson explains that, although monetary help for tuition is part of the plan, James has bigger goals for pushing these children to succeed.
• How is James helping to set the bar for celebrity philanthropy? In which ways will the I Promise program show impact?
Even before students entered the halls of the new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, the experimental effort had received widespread acclaim for its efforts to get low-performing students on a path to college early. It helped that LeBron James, the NBA superstar and Akron native, started the I Promise program and guaranteed college tuition to the University of Akron for those who participated.
But the I Promise School’s touchpoints with the local public university span far beyond college tuition. And that’s part of the school and James’ long-term vision.
James started the I Promise education program in 2011, providing resources and academic support to help students stay in school. In 2015, that effort expanded to include four-year scholarships for eligible I Promise students to the University of Akron. But barriers to eligibility for that scholarship persisted: Just 76 percent of students in Akron Public Schools’ class of 2017 graduated from high school within four years.
“Simply throwing a scholarship at an adolescent is not necessarily something they have experience with within their families,” says Susan Kushner Benson, associate professor at the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education at the University of Akron. “We want to create generational change.”
Read the full article about LeBron James’ college promise by Sydney Johnson at EdSurge.
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