LeBron James has always been notorious for giving back to his community in any way he can.

The basketball thing: it’s fun, I love it. I enjoy it. But to give back, being able to open up a school; that’s something that’ll last for way beyond my years

– LeBron James

Motivated by his formative years, the NBA superstar was been driven to open an innovative public school to serve low-income and at-risk students in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

According to Cleveland.com, James said, “Besides having three kids, marrying my wife, putting my mom in a position where she’ll never have to worry about anything again for the rest of her life. This is right up there [in the most important things in my life]. Championships, MVPs, however many points, rebounds and assists, that stuff is whatever.

But me being able to open up a school and give back to my inner city for so many kids that I know because I was those kids and I walked those streets, and it was like ‘there’s no way I’m gonna be able to get out of this situation.’ I just thought about that every day. But I had dreams and I had mentors that allowed my dreams to become who I am today.”

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The I Promise difference

The I Promise school will focus on accelerated learning, guarantees free college tuition to the University of Akron and will also help provide job placement assistance for parents; an unusual concept for most public schools in the US.

And that’s what will set I Promise apart from other low-income public schools: ensuring these low-income students — that’s 240 third- and fourth-graders — and their families get the support they need, otherwise known as the “We Are Family” philosophy. According to I Promise principal, Brandi Davis, “it is about true wrap-around support, true family integration and true compassion.”