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“You have a sea of for Akron on the state report card,” laments Rob Fischer, the codirector of Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at nearby Case Western Reserve University.

“So just changing the myths about what we should expect from Akron students is powerful.”After months of meetings, the foundation agreed to help the school system at the point where especially minority kids (in the majority here) begin to fall off track: third grade.

Recently, in response to parent and teacher demand, the foundation started the Hard Work Club, covering the cost of teachers for after-school time and for additional books.

And in 2015, Le Bron announced free tuition to the University of Akron for anyone who stays in the James family’s program through high school (and meets particular requirements regarding schoolwork and community service); parents who came to the announcement wept.

’ ” In 2011, the foundation decided to work more intensely with the city’s educators.

They discovered that the high school–dropout rate was 24 percent, a fact that caused them to rethink their efforts, focusing on what Le Bron now calls “an infrastructure” of not just educational but emotional, and even nutritional, support.

Through all this, Le Bron pops in for appearances, hosts meals, robo-calls kids around test times, writes notes of encouragement, and wears a wristband that, when he’s on TV, the kids in his program can recognize as theirs.

This year, the Jameses announced the radical step of establishing an entire new public elementary school for students identified as at-risk.

Along with a team of certified mentors and counselors, she will begin working with sixteen high school girls at Buchtel, her alma mater, offering one-on-one support. Savannah remembers her own mother doing anything she could to help young people in need. .”In Akron, you see a side of Le Bron that the rest of the world doesn’t. And most people understand that he is a budding player in Hollywood, executive-producing his own television series (.

“When I was growing up, my mom took in three or four kids just because they needed a place to go and be safe, to eat,” she says. “These are my friends; these are my cousins,” says Savannah. Even Le Bron James the businessman, with multiple endorsement deals, is no big news—not, for instance, to Warren Buffett.


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