*LeBron James has donated $41 million to put 1,100 Ohio kids through college.
According to ESPN, the NBA star has partnered with the University of Akron to provide a guaranteed four-year scholarship to the school for kids in James’ “I Promise” program who qualify. The scholarship will cover tuition and the university’s general service fee — currently $9,500 per year.
James told ESPN that this offers him another chance to give back.
“It’s the reason I do what I do,” said the Cleveland Cavaliers star, who announced the program Thursday while hosting an event for students at Cedar Point Amusement Park. “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.”
The school and the LeBron James Family Foundation are still finalizing the criteria for the scholarships. The students will have to graduate high school within Akron’s public school system and achieve standard testing requirements as well as fulfill a community service obligation.
“Every institution goes has to go through an adjustment from time to time and you look at what you’ve funded in the past and you look at the things that are new opportunities and new initiatives for the future and this fits in our sweet spot,” he said. “This is a program that focuses on the local area. This is a program that rewards earning your way into college. I think LeBron’s philosophy is that things are earned not given and that aligns well with our emphasis on experience and learning and career service and education.
“We’re excited about this and it does represent what the university wants to be about in the future. In the end, this is a university that makes students of all ages dreams come true, so this seems to fit nicely with what LeBron wants for his kids and what we want for the university.”