Akron, OH

LeBron's 'I Promise' students visit University of Akron for summer experience

Paul Krasinic

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AKRON, OH — Students enrolled in The LeBron James Family Foundation’s “I PROMISE” program visited the University of Akron for the ZIPS I Promise Summer Experience. More than 22 of them will soon be enrolled at UA to pursue their degree.

LeBron James made a vow to aid students in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, ten years ago. Since then, The LeBron James Family Foundation’s “I PROMISE” program has given students in Akron Public Schools millions of dollars and hundreds of chances.

In 2015, the University of Akron joined as a partner, committed to helping with children in the I Promise Program and providing full-tuition scholarships to graduating high school students. More than 22 I Promise alumni will begin their college careers at UA this September.

The ZIPS I Promise Summer Experience was held on campus from June 14 to 18 to help students prepare for their upcoming graduations. Rising sophomores enrolled in the I Promise program were able to tour the campus and learn all about what it’s like to be a college student during the week-long event.

I Promise students got a crash course in the college admissions process in addition to seeing the campus, eating in the dining hall, and meeting current students. Everything was covered, from how scholarships and financial aid operate to how to pick a major.

“We are excited about the progress these students have made over the years in the I Promise program, and we wanted to offer them a unique opportunity to really understand what college is like,” says Anne Hanson Hilaire, director of community engagement at UA. “Many high school students don’t know how to maneuver the admission process or what career path they want to follow once they get here, so we made sure to really spend time talking about it and exploring many areas they can pursue.”

Students had the opportunity to visit a different College or School each day to hear about the many programs of study offered, the skills required, and the types of employment that they lead to. Each day concluded with the kids completing a fun project that put their newly acquired abilities to use.

The week ended with a family celebration, which gave parents the opportunity to watch their children in action and learn more about how to help them with the college application process. Students also submitted entertaining TikTok movies they made at UA to demonstrate a college idea they learned about throughout the program.

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