LeBron James’ I Promise School is now changing lives in more ways than ever before

David Akerman
5 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has made his name known in the world for his talents on the court, but he’s used his fame and fortune over the years to help people off the court as well.

One of his most well-known ventures outside of basketball is his I Promise School, which is located in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. The school opened in July of 2018 and has continued to develop over the years.

In a heartwarming new development, the effort now includes housing, health care and job training, three things that are essential for people in life.

A nearly finished apartment complex called I Promise Houses is set to open next month after breaking ground in 2021.

“The housing complex includes a garden and basketball courts,” wrote Andscape’s Justin Tinsley in a detailed feature about the new developments. “Office space is available on the first floor as well as a semi-professional kitchen where classes will be held to promote healthy lifestyles for residents. The James Family Foundation will fund all the wraparound services.”

Next year, residents will get better access to health care.

“Three blocks from the housing complex, the foundation is planning a primary care facility called I Promise HealthQuarters,” wrote Tinsley. “It will include a lab, a subsidized pharmacy operated by AxessPointe, which runs several clinics in the area and is helping to build out the I Promise facility, and mental health care from Coleman Health Services. The site will be open to the entire Akron community.”

A job training facility is set to open at the end of March.

“House Three Thirty (after Akron’s area code) is in the former Tangier Restaurant & Cabaret, a gathering spot that once hosted performances by artists such as Tina Turner and Ray Charles,” Tinsley explained. “The foundation purchased the building and funded its renovation with several corporate partners. Retail, dining and event facilities will give I Promise families business experience that will prepare them for future employment opportunities. The building will also house a sports bar and museum with some never-before-seen memorabilia from James’ basketball career. The site is less than a half-mile from the I Promise school, and part of the purpose of the location was to eliminate travel hurdles for teenagers working after-school jobs.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co., which is a longtime partner of the LeBron James Family Foundation, will have a space to provide financial advice. I Promise students, parents and family members will be able to get coffee and job training from a Starbucks Community Store. Additionally, there will be a 500-person ballroom fit for large-scale events with a pizzeria, ice cream parlor and cigar room also available.

It’s amazing to see how far James’ school has come since opening in 2018. The NBA world was amazed back then, and it will surely react in the same way once it sees some of the new developments.

The school’s mission is to “positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives.” It believes that an education and active, healthy lifestyle are “pivotal to the development of children and young adults.”

The school is undoubtedly one of James’ biggest accomplishments, and only time will tell what other developments take place.

For now, James is surely zeroed in on helping the Lakers secure a spot in this year’s NBA postseason. He recently returned to the court from a foot injury.

With just seven games left to go in their regular season, the Lakers are in ninth place in the Western Conference and would make the play-in tournament if the season ended today.

There’s still time left to get an outright playoff spot, but there’s no more margin for error. L.A.’s next game is on Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.