Athletes for Education

As a “parent of a varsity college athlete” I am very tuned in to the concern about athletic vs academics. Do college administrators and professors wink at the academic side of college for athletes? Do athletes devalue going to class, writing papers, participating fully in college intellectual life? I have lots of anecdotal evidence that the answer is very individualized – some do, some don’t.

In this blog post, I am happy to be able to highlight the really thoughtful approach being taken by one of the highest profile athletes around: LeBron James.

LeBron James Family Foundation

Back in 2011, LeBron decided to make a major investment in the kids from his hometown, Akron Ohio. Not just his name and his money but his time and the development of a relationship with the kids. His program starts with 3rd graders and goes all the way through high school providing a cornucopia of strategies with one goal in mind – academic success all the way through college.

And LeBron is planning ahead. Though the first group of kids won’t start college until 2021, he has just announced a partnership with the University of Akron. The idea is this: Any kid who goes through LeBron’s program, gets good grades, has good attendance, will be eligible for a full 4-year scholarship to UA. That’s $9,500/year per kid for as many as 2,300 children. Some are athletes. Many are not. All matter to one athlete who values the academic component of a college education.

Learn more at

Share stories of others who are investing in academics for athletes.

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