LeBron James took to social media to congratulate Anthony Claytor, a 21-year-old from Akron, Ohio who recently graduated early from Kent State University.

Claytor is the first student from James’ I Promise School to earn a bachelor’s degree. He expressed his pride on social media, taking to X, to say: “CONGRATULATIONS ANTHONY!!!! SO PROUD OF YOU YOUNG [prince].”

The ‘I Promise School’, launched in 2018 as part of James’ efforts to support at-risk children and families in Northeast Ohio, paved the way for Claytor’s success, according to sources. In 2020, the entire inaugural class of 193 students, including Claytor, was granted full scholarships at Kent State University, along with a year of fully paid room and board.

Most recently, Claytor graduated early with a Bachelor of Arts in criminology and justice studies, with a minor in sociology. For Claytor, the opportunity was life-changing. He said, “If it wasn’t for the LeBron James Family Foundation, I don’t know if I would have gone to college.

“I don’t know where I would be.” He added: “If I went… somewhere else, I wouldn’t have been able to live on campus and meet new people, develop relationships or join organizations.

“I really enjoy being able to do that at Kent State.” At just 21 years old, Claytor is already setting his sights on becoming a Secret Service agent, fuelled by the support he received.

“There was more help financially, specifically with tuition and books,” he said. “These programs also provided me access to different scholarships and internships.

“Overall, it made campus a lot easier to navigate.” The ‘I Promise School’, located in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio, offers various support services to its students, including free tuition, uniforms, meals, transportation, bicycles, helmets, and access to a food pantry for their families. Additionally, parents receive assistance with job placement and acquiring their GEDs.

With over 1,300 students benefiting from the program, I Promise continues to fulfil its mission of empowering at-risk youth in the Akron, Ohio community.