LeBron James dubbed the I Promise program “probably the best thing I’ve ever done”.
And while what he’s been able to accomplish through the school itself is tremendous, the work also goes beyond the classroom.
One of the I Promise traditions is to send 23 high school students from LeBron’s hometown of Akron, Ohio to the host city for NBA All Star weekend. He calls the group of standout students, 330 Ambassadors, a nod to the area code of Akron. Which can also serve as a reminder that LeBron James came from the same place and similar circumstances the I Promise children the Ambassadors mentor are currently in.
Or as the LeBron James Family Foundation Executive Director Michelle Campbell put it, “So LeBron says a lot that he’s just a kid from Akron. That’s who he is and he’ll never forget that. So to have children in Akron hear that and see him and see how successful he can be is the most impactful thing that can happen to those children.”
Something that hasn’t gone unnoticed for the students directly involved. One of the 330 Ambassadors Ervin Odom summed up both James and his experience at All Star weekend quite simply as “pretty cool.”
But one thing that stood out was how much Ervin and the other Ambassadors talked about what they were able to offer the younger students they work with, and how that in and of itself is the most rewarding experience.
However like James, through the program, those involved had a chance to reap rewards themselves via the All Star festivities, volunteer work in the community and a chance to get hands on experience for possible future career paths while in Chicago including working directly with Graduate Hotels founder Ben Weprin
Ultimately, the impact of the program goes way beyond James. Which is probably why he says what they accomplish is more important than what he has. And for someone known amongst other things for his passing genius, I Promise is perhaps his best assist.