LeBron James hails first student from his I Promise School to graduate from college

Francis Akhalbey June 05, 2024
Anthony Claytor is the first student from LeBron James' I Promise School to graduate from college -- Left photo credit: All-Pro Reels | Right photo credit: Kent State University/CNN

LeBron James’ passion for education spurred him to partner with the Akron Public Schools to open his I Promise School in 2018. The elementary school, which is located in the basketball superstar’s hometown of Akron, provides education to students who are “already falling behind and in danger of falling through the cracks.”

The educational institution together with James recently had something to celebrate after fellow Akron native Anthony Claytor became the first student from I Promise School to graduate from college. 

Per CNN, Claytor, who is part of I Promise School’s inaugural class of 2018, graduated from Kent State University in May with a Bachelor of Arts in criminology and justice studies with a minor in sociology.

James on Tuesday took to X (formerly Twitter) to congratulate Claytor. “CONGRATULATIONS ANTHONY!!!! SO PROUD OF YOU YOUNG [prince],” the NBA champion quoted on a video his foundation shared to celebrate Claytor’s achievement. 

I Promise School’s 2018 inaugural class was composed of 193 students, and they all received a four-year tuition package to study at Kent State University. Their accommodation and board fees were also fully paid for a year.

“If it wasn’t for the LeBron James Family Foundation, I don’t know if I would have gone to college,” said Claytor, 21. “I don’t know where I would be.”

“If I went … somewhere else, I wouldn’t have been able to live on campus and meet new people, develop relationships or join organizations. I really enjoy being able to do that at Kent State,” Claytor said, adding that his aim is to become an agent with the Secret Service.

“There was more help financially, specifically with tuition and books,” Claytor said in reference to the nature of the educational support he received and how it helped him. “These programs also provided me access to different scholarships and internships. Overall, it made campus a lot easier to navigate.”

Students at James’ I Promise School are given multiple freebies to ensure they navigate their education without setbacks. This includes free tuition, free uniforms, free food, free transportation within two miles, and a free bicycle and helmet, CNN reported. Students are also allowed to take food from the school’s pantry for their families. 

“Focusing on his hometown of Akron, the [LeBron James] Foundation’s I PROMISE program provides year-round resources, access to opportunities, supportive skill development, constant encouragement and other wraparound supports to more than 1,300 Akron Public School students who have all been guaranteed college scholarships if they do their part,” the school’s website states. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 5, 2024

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