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Along with a team of certified mentors and counselors, she will begin working with sixteen high school girls at Buchtel, her alma mater, offering one-on-one support. Savannah remembers her own mother doing anything she could to help young people in need. .”In Akron, you see a side of Le Bron that the rest of the world doesn’t. And most people understand that he is a budding player in Hollywood, executive-producing his own television series (.

“When I was growing up, my mom took in three or four kids just because they needed a place to go and be safe, to eat,” she says. “These are my friends; these are my cousins,” says Savannah. Even Le Bron James the businessman, with multiple endorsement deals, is no big news—not, for instance, to Warren Buffett.

That’s who he is.” Who is Savannah, for people who don’t know her?

“She’s a woman who really has that midwestern ethic,” says Union. It’s that you say what you do and you do what you say.”This past spring, Savannah announced a new program in Akron: Women of Our Future.

“He literally brings our friend back, like something out of an episode of ,” Union says. ” says Savannah, laughing.“No book that can tell you about parenthood,” Le Bron continues.

“Because he’s that guy, and when you see that, you know he is not going to leave these at-risk kids behind or an NBA player snorkeling. “Even your mom, your dad, your grandparents—they can give you pointers, but you have to go along that path on your own because every kid is different; every situation is different.

greeting staff and visitors: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?

Cut to the Le Bron James Family Foundation back-to-school orientation for at-risk students (as identified by the public schools), where teachers bring students’ skills up and begin to build support for the upcoming year. Says Keith Liechty, the coordinator of school improvement for Akron Public Schools, “Before the James foundation, it was a struggle to get parents involved.”What started with 232 students five years ago has now grown to more than 1,200, whom Le Bron, Savannah, and the foundation staff meet with regularly to communicate goals and needs.

At all their meetings the students renew their promise to finish school.

“I’m 60, but I remember prom, and I remember being poor, and I remember me and a lot of other people didn’t go to prom, because we didn’t have anything to wear. Union and her husband, Dwyane Wade, with other friends and athletes, were out snorkeling in the Bahamas a few years back.

Some people would say, ‘Ah, prom dresses—that’s so insignificant.’ But that’s empowering, and only people who care or have walked in those shoes can understand that.”When he joins us to sit down and talk, Le Bron himself makes a point about understanding who these kids are, having been one of them, though on a sunny Saturday with his family, his inclination is not to sit down. Some, including Wade, were ocean-shy, city-born and not as strong at swimming as Le Bron. ” Union says.) Eventually, the group got out in the water, though at the end of the swim, when everyone was back in the boat, Le Bron took a count and noticed a man missing, immediately diving back in.

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