Kent State Joins the LeBron James Family Foundation’s Efforts to Get Akron Students College and Career Ready
With a shared mission to help the youth in Akron earn a life-changing education, Kent State University has teamed up with the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) to provide LJFF’s I PROMISE students with increased resources to help prepare them for college and beyond. As part of this long-term partnership, Kent State has committed to providing specialized programming to help I PROMISE students remain on target to graduate from high school and be fully eligible for the college scholarships that have been committed to them.
“As our oldest I PROMISE students continue to find their footing in high school, they’re at that pivotal time where it’s critical they get all the support they need to stay on track,” says Michele Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation. “The team at Kent State has listened to their needs and immediately turned those conversations into action, recognizing that every single day is valuable when it comes to educating our kids and getting them college and career ready.”
Springing the I PROMISE students’ academic needs into action, Kent State is kicking off its support with an exclusive three-week Flash P’ACT summer program – an on-campus, overnight collegiate immersion experience that will focus on rigorous ACT test preparation in math and reading, college readiness and personal development. The I PROMISE high school students live on the Kent Campus from Monday through Friday, and are exposed to the university experience through attending college courses, nightly university-sanctioned recreation and wellness opportunities, daily meals in the university’s dining facilities, on-campus volunteering, and hands-on, community-engaged learning. The all-encompassing camp is designed to expand the students’ vision to see themselves as successful college students and believe that their college success is not only possible, but necessary.
“We know that many students learn best with hands-on opportunities, so we are committed to providing these students with educational opportunities that will stay with them long after the camp has ended,” says Melody Tankersley, Kent State’s senior associate provost and dean of graduate studies. “By immersing these students in the college experience while simultaneously boosting their academic preparation, they will be set up for success to eventually transition from high school to college.”
Following the three-week summer program, the university’s proactive efforts with LJFF’s students will continue in the fall. Kent State students will join the I PROMISE Mentoring program that pairs I PROMISE students with trained, certified mentors for academic, social and emotional support. Through this opportunity, LJFF’s 10th graders will receive weekly one-on-one mentoring from Kent State student mentors who will lend support in setting and monitoring college and career goals. Mentors will help their mentees with weekly goal setting, technology literacy, study habits, social responsibility, real-world skills and applications, and developing an important post-high school roadmap. These personal relationships are intended to increase students’ confidence in their work and in their future aspirations, as well as to help them achieve success in their daily lives.
“Our Kent State ambassadors will work one-to-one with the I PROMISE students to introduce them to what lies ahead as they become young adults,” Dr. Tankersley says. “These relationships are key to ensuring these high school students can see themselves not only on a college campus someday, but also succeeding and earning a degree.”