LeBron James Family Foundation Announces the “I Promise School”

In this 16 minute video, the LeBron James Family FoundationAkron Public Schools, and the City of Akron announce the creation of the “I Promise School”.

At about 14:30 in this video, LeBron says that the infrastructure, the mentors, the leaders are here for the kids, but it’s also a reminder to the adults “that it’s our job to put forth the effort to help these kids understand that they do have a purpose in life, individually and collectively”

The LJFF has many partners working to make this school a reality.  A key component to these efforts are the contributions of individual community members.  There is a role for everyone in the education of the next generation.  I encourage everyone in Akron to ask “What can I do?” and then step up and help make a difference in our hometown.

Summa Donates Lab Coats. What Can Your Business do?

​All community businesses have the potential to contribute resources to our students. Summa Health recently donated old lab coats to the students at Akron’s National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM Middle School.  You can read more in this article at Ohio.com.

What can YOUR business do?  Various opportunities are available for all kinds of businesses for all sizes.

  • Invite one or more students to visit your place of employment or work site.
  • Speak at a career day or in a classroom about your business or your role in the business.
  • Volunteer to provide assistance or sponsor a community event.
  • Give employees time off or other incentives to provide mentoring or to be a classroom volunteer.
  • Provide financial support for a classroom, school, academic event, sports team, or arts organization.
  • Inquire whether items no longer needed in your business would be useful for the students and, if so, donate them to the appropriate organization

More information about current needs and opportunities can be found on the APS Website.

There is a role for everyone in educating our next generation.  What can YOU do?

Akron Promise, THANK YOU!

After years of preparation and study, we now approach the one year anniversary of the official incorporation of Akron Promise, Inc., I want to take the opportunity to update you on the progress that we have made in our efforts to create a unified culture of education in the City of Akron.

We would like to thank our community for enthusiastically embracing this idea. We know that it will require all of us working together to help Akron's kids access family and academic support services leading to good educational and career opportunities.

We recently returned from an informative and engaging meeting with Say Yes To Buffalo and the Say Yes to Education national team. We are still processing all we learned and will be sharing more about that visit in the coming weeks.

Please join our official mailing list by signing up here!

If you wish to volunteer with Akron Promise, please let us know!

The Year in Review
Akron Promise, Inc. has been incorporated as an Ohio not-for-profit corporation and has been recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3), Non-Profit Corporation.

Akron Promise named the following Board of Directors:

  • Daralee (“Dee”) Ghinder, Co-Founder
  • Tom Ghinder, Founder
  • Emery Leuchtag, Attorney, Physician, Education Advocate
  • David Loar, Retired minister, Funeral Home Assistant, Youth Mentor
  • Greg Milo, Educator

Community Presentations
In an effort to inform community stakeholders about Akron Promise, presentations were made to the following:

  • Akron City Council
  • Akron Community Foundation
  • Akron Huntington Foundation
  • Akron Public Schools Board of Education
  • City of Akron Administration
  • CollegeNow, Greater Cleveland
  • G.A.R. Foundation
  • iCare Mentoring
  • State Representative, Amelia Sykes
  • Summit Education Initiative and their College Attainment Team
  • United Way of Summit County
  • University of Akron

PromiseNet 2016 (our 3rd)
In October nine people from Akron attended the annual convention of Promise programs, held in Washington, D.C. The sharing of information was of great value to us all. Some of us were invited to the White House for the final community college convening, under President Obama. Some were also invited to a reception at the Vice-President’s residence. It was a wonderful surprise to have Dr. Jill Biden and Vice-President Joe Biden show up, speak to the group and offer their time for pictures with each of the 100 in attendance. The convening and reception were to thank those in attendance for their work to make post-secondary education accessible to all, and to encourage us to keep at it.

College and Career Academies of Akron
Tom Ghinder participated in the steering committee and working groups for this Akron Public Schools initiative. Based on other districts’ successes, APS is forming learning communities for grades 9-12 to better prepare students for employment.


  • Add more members to the Board of Directors.
  • Define program mission, vision and program parameters.
  • Work with Akron Public Schools to establish our working commitment and relationship.
  • Work with the City of Akron and other stakeholders to build Akron Promise as a community effort.
  • Keep talking to members of the community about our organization.
  • Raise scholarship funds.

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed as we make progress in our second year!

An Economic Case for Preschool

Akron Promise is here to promote education support from cradle to career.  This post addresses the issue of education and preparation that must occur for a student to be ready to learn when entering formal K-12 education.

In this 15 minute talk by Timothy Bartik, he makes the economic case for preschool. Below, I have selected two quotes that intrigue me.

“When other people’s children get more skills, that actually increases the prosperity of everyone, including people whose skills don’t change.”

He concludes with this challenge.

“This is ultimately not an economic question, it’s a moral question: Are we willing, as Americans, are we as a society still capable of making the political choice to sacrifice now by paying more taxes in order to improve the long-term future of not only our kids, but our community?”

Use this link for an interactive transcript.