Many of us were hit hard by the death of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. Then there was the acquittal of his killer George Zimmerman in July 2013, which outraged the country. LeBron James was also outraged, and it sparked a new path for the NBA player to create change.
Speaking about his recent activism, James told CNN’s Don Lemon, “It started with the Trayvon Martin situation. The reason why it started with that is having kids of my own, having boys of my own, it hit home for me to see the story and to think that if my boy left home and he never returned — that kind of hit a switch. From that point on, I knew that my voice and my platform had to be used for more than just sports.”
LeBron James: The fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin “hit a switch for me. From that point on, I knew that my voice and my platform had to be used for more than just sports.” https://t.co/2HXF5tXQTA pic.twitter.com/zKS3Eb4u9h
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) July 31, 2018
James has certainly turned those feelings into action. Partnering with the Akron Public Schools system, James created the I Promise School, which opened its doors this week to 240 third- and fourth-grade students. The school is a learning center to benefit at-risk youth. But it won’t just help youth, LeBron’s school offers GED opportunities for adults, tuition for graduates and enrolled students receive a free bicycle.
The school hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., which will help to keep students off the streets and in a secure place. ”We want them here,” said James, who is originally from Akron.