LeBron James Keeps His Promise!
Reading about the school that LeBron James is starting in Akron made me think about my own educational experiences. I was born in Texas and my mother was a schoolteacher and my father was a carpenter. Compared to most of the people in my neighborhood, my family had a pretty good life. We owned the home that we lived in, and we also owned an automobile, just like all of our friends did. We could walk to school, whether it was just elementary or high school.
Our teachers were dedicated to helping us learn as much as we could. However, looking back, their own life experiences had been limited, so they could not prepare us for things that they did not know about, or for opportunities that did not exist for us.
From our point of view, it seemed that we could become a dentist, doctor, teacher, or laborer. So, if we hung around school long enough, we would likely ﬁnd something to do. None of our schools had libraries, so we did not do a lot of reading. There was little incentive to strive for academic excellence. Our curriculum did not include advanced mathematics, chemistry, or physics.
Most parents did not seem to be really concerned whether their children got an A, or a C. However, their parents would be notiﬁed, if they caused any trouble at school. Also in the schools in Texas, the teachers were allowed to spank the students, if they deemed that it was necessary.
I was made aware of the educational differences between Texas and New York, when my family moved north. To begin with, they gave me an entrance evaluation. I thought I did well, but they moved me back one grade. In addition, I had to take classes in Algebra, Chemistry and Physics. Plus, I had to check books out of the library, and write reports on them. Initially, I received C’s or D’s on most of the work that I turned in. I then realized how disadvantaged most of the African American students were, and that it was unlikely that many of them would be able to develop to their full potential.
Later, when I was at USC, I learned that many Asian students had never received a grade that was not an “A”. It is part of their culture to pursue academic excellence. In this way, they have achieved enormous success,.They have minimized the amount of racial discrimination that was intended for them.
LeBron James understands this, and what he is doing is extremely important. There will be fewer and fewer jobs but those who do not have a good education and ability to learn, their jobs will be done by robots, which will be designed and built by well-educated individuals. LeBron received a scholarship to the prestigious St. Vincent – St. Mary High School, in Akron, Ohio.
This opportunity helped him to improve his life, and he is now doing his best to share his good fortune! LeBron James is stressing the importance of providing a good education for as many people as possible, because he knows how important it is. It is up to the rest of us to to do all we can to provide the opportunity and the motivation for our young people to start their lives with strong academic backgrounds.
Thank you, Mr. James!