Thanks to LeBron James, the path to high school graduation for at-risk children in Akron, Ohio has been paved, and on that road lies a brick from Allen Press. We are proud to announce a donation to The LeBron James Family Foundation (The LJFF) and I Promise School that will support education within the Akron community and help children and their families achieve their dreams.

Shared goals and aspirations

LeBron James is an inspiration on and off the court to people all over the world. Whether you call yourself a basketball fan of James or not, there’s no denying the fact that his investment and impact within the community is nothing short of amazing.

The I Promise School and James’ commitment to improving the world for those less fortunate reflect values that Allen Press shares. As a successful business for more than 80 years, we applaud this foresight, innovation and creativity.

“What LeBron James is doing to help at-risk kids from the community overcome what he too faced is incredible. Everything about the I Promise School is spot-on and aligns directly with our corporate values. The school’s We Are Family philosophy, STEM-heavy curriculum and connection with the local public school system make it even more special. We are so proud to follow James’ lead and be part of the extraordinary I Promise School.” – Randy Radosevich, CEO of Allen Press

Through our donation, we also hope to inspire a new generation of print and creative leaders. We are deeply committed to diversity and inclusivity and are actively working to raise the bar within our industry. Print is for everyone, and we hope that the I Promise School students feel empowered to pursue a career in the print and graphics industries.

Supporting education and low-income families

Through our donation, Allen Press is helping to support the I Promise School’s innovative new program as well as its students. This includes:

  • Free tuition
  • Free uniforms
  • Free breakfast, lunch and snacks
  • Free transportation within two miles
  • A free bicycle and helmet
  • Access to a food pantry for students and their families
  • Guaranteed tuition for all graduates to the University of Akron

To commemorate the donation, Allen Press accepted an official game-worn LeBron James sneaker. The size 15 shoe was worn by James during his March 6, 2017 game against the Miami Heat. While the Heat would go on to defeat the Cavs that day, the real winners are the kids of Akron. The other shoe will be displayed in the lobby of the I Promise School with a plaque in the Allen Press name.

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An official game-worn shoe by LeBron James. The other shoe is displayed at the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio with a commemorative Allen Press plaque.

The first of its kind

James announced in 2017 that The LJFF would partner with the Akron Public School District to create a new, first of its kind school for the most at-risk kids, focusing on an enhanced educational experience and concentrating its curriculum in STEM.

The school will feature longer school days, a non-traditional school year and more access to teachers and resources. Parents of the students can also receive support in completing their GED and have access to job placement services.

240 students started their first day at the I Promise School on Monday, August 6, 2018. The students that qualified for admission were identified by the school district as “at risk” and were falling behind their peers by the 3rd grade. The school opened with just 3rd and fourth 4th grades with plans to expand to 1st through 8th grades by 2022. Upon completion of the program, each child is guaranteed college tuition to the University of Akron should they successfully receive a high school diploma.

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Entrance to the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. Photo Credit: The LeBron James Family Foundation Facebook Page.

Overcoming challenges through social impact

Each year, Akron Public Schools identifies a new class of students that by the 3rd grade, have already fallen behind their peers in terms of reading level and learning proficiency. LeBron James is not shy about sharing his background and how he attributes much of his success to the mentors who never gave up on him.

Through The LJFF, James has been a king off the court as much as on by contributing time, money and his celebrity status to shine a spotlight on at-risk students in his hometown of Akron.

Now, in its sixth year, The LJFF has helped almost 1,200 students and thousands more parents and siblings through the I Promise program.

Read more about our Social Impact statement and how Allen Press is changing the status quo in the printing industry by investing in women leaders and closing the gender pay gap.

Photo credit of LeBron James and students: The LeBron James Family Foundation Facebook Page.