Kent State Prepares LeBron James Family Foundation I PROMISE Students for College Entrance Exams
In partnership with Akron Public Schools and the LeBron James Family Foundation, Kent State University hosted several dozen high school students on campus for a month of intensive preparation for college entrance exams.
This is the second year that Kent State has helped to prepare the students, who are part of the James Foundation’s I PROMISE program.
This year’s camp took place for four weeks in June for rising 11th grade students from Akron Public Schools, expanding on 2018’s three-week camp.
The students’ days consisted of intensive reading and math preparation intended to get them ready for the ACT college entrance exams in their near future.
Justin Hilton, Kent State’s senior administrator for community outreach, said the results were outstanding.
“One student raised her ACT score by 12 points after the camp,” he said.
The students lived on campus Monday through Friday, staying in residence halls and eating their meals in dining halls while taking part in a wide variety of activities, including spending time in the innovation studio and TechStyleLAB, and taking part in team-building exercises, Hilton said.
Located in the Fashion School, the TechStyleLAB supports learning, teaching, research and commercial investigation of digital design and production technologies in the fashion context.
As part of this year’s expanded curriculum, Hilton said group activities focused on professional development, including resume writing and creating personal business cards. The group also had a dinner to learn etiquette and professional manners.
Other activities included meeting with officials from LaunchNET Kent State, the university’s program that offers advising to students, alumni, staff and faculty interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, Hilton said. Instruction focused on learning what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset and learning how to create a 30-second personal value proposition, Hilton said.
Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Melody Tankersley, Ph.D., said the camps are consistent with Kent State’s mission to transform lives through education.
“One of the best things about Kent State is that we really believe in our vision of being change agents and our mission of transforming lives,” Tankersley said. “And we believe in first-generation students. Knowing this about us, it isn’t surprising that the LeBron James Family Foundation and Kent State became fast partners in inspiring positive change in our community.”
The week concluded with a red carpet event and the Flashies, awards presented to students for their achievements during the camp, Hilton said.
The celebration recognized students for most improved scores in reading, math and academic performance. There also were awards for leadership and best team, he said, along with recognition for parents, administrators, community collaborators and contributors from Kent State.
“What we hope to achieve together is to show I PROMISE students that they can define their lives – that there’s no boundaries – and specifically, that they can go to college,” Tankersley said. “Many of these students, like many students throughout our communities, have not thought of college as an option for them. We want them to know that they can succeed in college and that college is worth the investment.”