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First Class: A 3News special about the first I Promise graduates

Ten years ago, they were 3rd graders reading below grade level. How did the LeBron James Family Foundation fare in its efforts to guide these students to graduation?
Credit: AP Photo/Phil Long
LeBron James speaks at the opening ceremony for the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, Monday, July 30, 2018. The I Promise School is supported by the The LeBron James Family Foundation and is run by the Akron Public Schools. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

AKRON, Ohio — About 10 years ago, LeBron James and his foundation sought out to help kids who were at risk of falling behind in school. This year, the first class of I Promise students are graduating.

On Thursday, June 10 at 7:30 pm, 3News takes a look inside the road to graduation and how the LeBron James Family Foundation has spent the past decade building a safety net of services for Akron Public Schools students. Having a supportive community can positive impact a child’s future, the foundation firmly believes. 

In an exclusive interview, Gloria James, LeBron's mother, shares with us her own experience with her son in Akron and how it helped to shape the foundation's mission to help kids succeed.

"We have to thank many friends, family and our community for the help they gave us," said Gloria James. "Because I'm not sure we would have made it if it wasn't for the help from our community."

Thursday's special show, titled "First Class," will also highlight Jayden Shippe, an I Promise student known for his smile and his strength. Shippe, who passed away at the age of 17 after his battle with cancer, didn’t let his own challenges get in the way of making a lasting and powerful impact on his family, friends and classmates.

You can watch the entire special in the player below:

More coverage of the I Promise School: