AKRON, Ohio -- The University of Akron is getting a new tenant by the name of LeBron James.
WKYC announced exclusively Thursday morning that the LeBron James Family Foundation has established the I PROMISE Institute, which will be coming to InfoCision Stadium.
The institute will be located on the south end of level 3 in the stadium.
Once complete, the space will be used as a resource for LJFF students who earn the guaranteed four-year tuition and general service fees scholarship. It will have a team of educators dedicated to researching best practices, implementing academic interventions and providing around-the-clock support for its students as they navigate college.
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“When we first started this program, I wanted my kids to graduate from high school,” LeBron James said. “But the more we grow as a Foundation, the more we find can be done to give our kids the best chance to be successful. We don’t just want our kids to get to college, we want them to graduate from college and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to help them do that.”
With LJFF’s first class of Akron I PROMISE Network students now in 8th grade, the I PROMISE Institute is currently conducting research on resources and support programs around the country to determine the best tactics and procedures to have in place by the time its students arrive on the University of Akron campus in 2021.
LJFF has established a governing board of academics from across the country to help oversee this research that will guide the institute’s curriculum and interventions as it gets to the root of urban youth retention.
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In the near term, the I PROMISE Institute will be a home-base for all future high school Akron I PROMISE Network students, acclimating them to life on a college campus while offering programming for students, parents and their entire families about the logistics and other learnings of the college experience.
The creation of the I PROMISE Institute is being funded in part by Sprite, which has worked with LeBron James since 2003.
LJFF’s Wheels for Education and Akron I PROMISE Network programs were created as a way to raise graduation rates in Akron over the long term. With the addition of the I PROMISE Institute, that commitment continues through college graduation rates for LJFF’s inner-city students at the University of Akron.