There’s something to be said about greatness. What it is, what truly makes a person — player — great. In basketball, the argument over who is the actual G.O.A.T., the greatest of all-time, is at an all-time high —is it Michael? Kobe? LeBron? But while most of us are meandering around in our daily lives, going to our jobs, being good citizens on and off of social media platforms where we sometimes engage in varying great debates like "who is the G.O.A.T.,” the possibility of something great does indeed happen, and when it does, it’s hard not to take notice.
LeBron James has created a new school.
While LeBron James has been in the news for most of the summer with his decision to take his talents to Los Angeles, he is now front and center for something that is off the court and outside of basketball. LeBron James has created the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, his hometown, to specifically serve low-income and at-risk students.
James is no stranger to philanthropic ventures. His Family Foundation is a notable organization and helped to begin the I Promise Network where Akron-based youngsters were the focus. The goal is "achievement" and it is specifically targeted towards students with backgrounds that show tremendous disadvantage. However, the I Promise School is going beyond that — it is a means to fully and holistically educate these same students full-time and provide some unique opportunities for them as they course through their scholastic career and potentially beyond.
What I Promise offers is a uniqueness, something that unequivocally parallels its benefactor, James. The King has gone on record to say that when he was young, he didn’t want the school day to end, it seemed too short because his home was harder. He notes that many kids and youth, still feel that way in Akron and it’s not lost on him. Part of the reason he created I Promise is to address some of the hardships that he faced as a youth that he knows still occur today. And so, as reported, I Promise will feature longer school days, a non-traditional calendar, greater access to the school and its facilities, all of which takes aim at providing support for children who may not be receiving any at home. Additionally, I Promise will have a curriculum that is entrenched in math and science with components for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to prepare its students for future job opportunities. Even beyond that, the school wants to focus on accelerated learning, provide job assistance and placement for parents; I Promise will also give every student a bike and helmet for travel, provide an on-site food bank for stressful economic situations, and will guarantee free tuition to the University of Akron to all graduates beginning in 2021.
There’s a lot to be said about greatness. What it is. What truly makes a person, or a player, great. In basketball, the argument over who is the actual G.O.A.T., the greatest of all-time is at an all-time high -- is it Michael? Kobe? LeBron? If asked, the answer to that question will vary depending on location, environment, era, generation. However, recognizing something great doesn’t involve as much debate. And LeBron James’ I Promise school and his willingness to at least try to provide an answer to a problem is evidence of doing something great.