James, through his LeBron James Family Foundation, officially opened the I Promise School as an addition to the Akron Public Schools in Akron, Ohio — his hometown — on Monday

By Emily Zauzmer
August 01, 2018 11:25 AM
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LeBron James is making an impact on and off the court.

James, through his LeBron James Family Foundation, officially opened the I Promise School as an addition to the Akron Public Schools in Akron, Ohio — his hometown — on Monday, USA Today reports.

The school welcomed its inaugural class of 240 students in grades three and four, the newspaper reported. It will grow to serve grades one through eight in the next four years.

James — who is joining the Los Angeles Lakers next season — tweeted about his new initiative on Sunday night, writing, “The jitters before the first day of school are real right now!!!”

LeBron James Opens "I PROMISE" School
Credit: Allison Farrand/NBAE/Getty
LeBron James Opens "I PROMISE" School
Credit: Allison Farrand/NBAE/Getty

“Tomorrow is going to be one of the greatest moments (if not the greatest) of my life when we open the #IPROMISE School,” he wrote about the school’s opening. “This skinny kid from Akron who missed 83 days of school in the 4th grade had big dreams…”

James, 33, continued, “Big dreams for the kids in Akron to give them everything they could need to find their passion, give back to our community and change the world!! This school is that. The people are that. Akron is that. @LJFamFoundation we’ve always done it big.”

According to ESPN, James has poured millions of dollars into the school — which took nearly 10 years to create.

The I Promise School was built to serve at-risk children, but also offers their parents an opportunity to finish high school, and even further promises free tuition to the University of Akron upon graduation, ESPN said.

In addition, attendees will receive free breakfast, lunch and snacks, as well as a free bike, reported Time. Students will also have access to a fitness trainer.

The school year will run from July through May, with STEM-based camps offered in the summer, according to Time.

I Promise School Grand Opening Celebration With LeBron James
Credit: Jason Miller/Getty
LeBron James Opens "I PROMISE" School
Credit: Allison Farrand/NBAE/Getty

James is focused on being more than an athlete, which he opened up about in a recent Uninterrupted video.

“I’ve walked the same streets. I’ve rode the same bikes on the streets that they ride on. I went through the same emotions — the good, the bad, the adversity. Everything that these kids are going through — the drugs, the violence, the guns … I know,” James said. “For me to be in a position where I have the resources, I have the finance, I have the people, I have the structure, and I have the city around me … Why not? Why not continue to do great things?”