By Scarlett Beard
New York City, New York
Lebron James is a widely-known American basketball player, currently playing for the LA Lakers. He is best known not only for his incredible athleticism, but also for his charismatic personality and sweeping charity work. His nuclear family consists of his wife and three kids all living happily together. He is a loving father and husband in addition to a skilled basketball player. Although the Lebron we know today is clearly privileged, he is in fact a self-made man who epitomizes the American dream.
James grew up in Akron, Ohio, in a troubled home. His family had limited resources and there was no father figure in his life. He was raised by his mother, who had him at sixteen. Living in the projects, James was taken under the wing of Frankie Walker, his basketball coach. James moved in with Walker and his family, where he focused on pursuing basketball and achieving in school. From there, he led his basketball team to three state titles before going right to the NBA. At the young age of eighteen, James was the first pick in the 2003 NBA draft.
James had made a lot of money from his team contract with the NBA and other sponsorships. He notably has a one-billion dollar contract with Nike. Beats headphones and McDonalds have both hired him as an influencer for commercials.
James is not merely a powerful man; he also uses his influence to be philanthropic. James received three million dollars for appearing on ESPN to announce his team decision. He chose to donate the money in its entirety to charity. He spread the funds around the country, supporting children of limited resources. He funded programs, such as “After School All Stars,” in his hometown.
James provided kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio with reading and math help to encourage kids to stay in school. James’ support has provided over 40 million dollars for the program. James is also a major contributor to the non-profit organization, “Children’s Defense Fund.” He donates to “Onexone,” which is a non-profit that also helps children with hunger, health, education, water and play. The program provides healthy food, medical help, and more.
Clearly, James never forgot the “game changing” support he received as a youth, and the profound impact mentoring, and adequate resources had on his life. He lives to pay forward his own blessings, and focuses his charity efforts on supporting children who come from underprivileged homes. He worked hard, fulfilled his passion and now shares his success with others.