The students at LeBron James’ I Promise Academy received the surprise of a lifetime when they learned they would be eligible to receive a full ride to Kent State University, one of the top colleges in Ohio.
On Wednesday James’ foundation tweeted a video of the students receiving the news, some of them burst into tears. The 139 students who are all juniors expected to enter into their freshman year in 2021-22, were part of the academy’s inaugural class which opened in 2018. The academy is located in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio.
The funds will cover the first year of tuition and room and board.
On Wednesday night after the Lakers played the Denver Nuggets, LeBron told reporters that his academy has built a solid relationship with Kent State. Students were promised that they would receive assistance to attend the school at the academy’s opening.
“We have so many options, and I just know that so many kids in my community just don’t have many options,” James said. “So for me to be able to be in a position where I can give these kids options to decide what they want to do with their future, it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done.”
“To be eligible for the free tuition, I PROMISE students must be successfully admitted to Kent State, fill out required financial aid forms and complete a requisite number of community service hours each semester,” a statement released by Kent State read. To retain their assistance, students will have to remain in good academic standing and complete a number of community service hours, while also finishing a number of credit hours per year.
“We are so pleased to take our partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation to this next level and welcome these students fully into the Kent State family,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon. “Kent State looks forward to the time when our campus is teeming with I Promise students.”