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LeBron James pledges up to $42M for Akron kids to go to college

August 14, 2015, 8:54 PM UTC
City Of Akron Celebrates The Return of Lebron James
AKRON, OH - AUGUST 08: LeBron James speaks during a press conference at The University of Akron before the kickoff of his welcome ceremony at InfoCison Stadium at The University of Akron on August 8, 2014 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
Photograph by Ty Wright — Getty Images

LeBron James, who made waves by playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers once again last season, announced Friday that he’s going to start giving out scholarships to qualifying students at the University of Akron through his “I Promise” program and as part of his foundation.

The Associated Press reported that he’s partnering with the university to cover tuition for students.

”It’s the reason I do what I do,” said James in announcing the scholarships. ”These students have big dreams, and I’m happy to do everything I can to help them get there. They’re going to have to earn it, but I’m excited to see what these kids can accomplish knowing that college is in their futures.”

Per the publication, the details of who will qualify for the scholarships are still being figured out. But the Associated Press did report that the students must graduate from Akron’s public high school system. 1,100 students are currently enrolled in the “I Promise” program, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, and a year’s tuition at the University of Akron is $9,500.

”It means so much because, as a kid growing up in the inner city and a lot of African-American kids, you don’t really think past high school,” he said.

The university will rename its education the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education, according to the publication. Meanwhile, the first class of scholarship winners will reportedly graduate in 2021.