New videos feature campus visit by LeBron James and I PROMISE students


Our latest videos in partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) feature Akron native and four-time NBA MVP LeBron James, along with aspiring students in his I PROMISE program and current University of Akron students. The videos highlighting the benefits of a college education at UA are launching today via digital media in several markets in Ohio and elsewhere.

“It’s all about sparking hope and fulfilling dreams for my I PROMISE kids,” says James in the videos’ introduction. With a focus on stemming the high school dropout rates in his hometown of Akron, James started the I PROMISE program in 2011.

His foundation recently brought several I PROMISE students — some who are now high school freshmen — to our campus to talk with UA students. The resulting series of videos capture our students mentoring the high schoolers for an afternoon, sharing their college experience, visiting labs and classrooms, and meeting professors. After the mentoring experience, the group came together at the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education to meet with James and share their dreams and goals with him.

“The University of Akron expresses its profound thanks to LeBron and the LeBron James Family Foundation for their partnership with the University,” said UA President Matthew J. Wilson. “The engagement seen in the videos between the I PROMISE and UA students is genuine and powerful.”

The full-length video runs just under two-minutes. Six I PROMISE students are also spotlighted in shorter videos, paired with UA students in their area of interest. The featured I PROMISE students include Jayden, paired with UA student and computer whiz Spencer Csasky, who is majoring in cybersecurity. Another showcased I PROMISE student is Julia, set to graduate from high school in 2022. She met with mechanical engineering major Drake Smalley, who shared his co-op experience building orthopedic implants.

The videos are an integral part of UA’s fall student recruitment campaign, which is primarily digital media based, but will also include some television broadcast and other media. The videos will target Northeast Ohio as well as markets including Erie, Pa., Pittsburgh and suburban Chicago.



Media contact: Dan Minnich, 330-972-6476 or