Cleveland Cavaliers superstar and undisputed best basketball player in the world LeBron James committed this week to an initiative that could eventually send more than 1,000 kids to college for free. The LeBron James Family Foundation is working with various companies to cover the tuition for the University of Akron, located in James' hometown of Akron, Ohio.
Speaking with Willie Geist of Today, James said, "At this rate, we've got 1,100 kids in our program, and if I can put 1,100 kids into college free, that means I'll have done something, (and) the University of Akron, JPMorgan and Chase and my foundation have done something great to give back."
So how does it work?
James' foundation, the university, and JPMorgan Chase have teamed up in an agreement in which any child under James' mentorship who graduates from Akron Public Schools and meets certain testing, attendance and community service criteria would get a full ride to the University of Akron.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, it's actually up to 2,300 kids that could benefit from the scholarships, and in total, the sum could reach roughly $42 million. James has no problem helping out kids from challenging backgrounds, though, as that was his life growing up.
"These students have big dreams and I'm happy to do everything I can to help them get there," he said. "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 first class eligible for scholarships will graduate high school in the spring of 2021 and, according to the agreement, the scholarships will keep running through the Akron Public Schools graduating class of 2029.
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Cover image: David Shankbone via Flickr