LeBron James is appearing in not one, but two stay in school campaigns. Of course the haters are going to point out that The King is encouraging students to stay in school when he would have gone pro after 10th grade if the rules had allowed it.
He addressed those critics in a preemptive strike.
“You know, you don’t have to go to college to have an education,” James said. “Or to be mentally smart. You can read. You can continue to do things that continue to strengthen your mind. For me, it’s just about sharing the word, and stating the facts. I’m not out there that’s not true. It’s all about awareness.”
As a high school English teacher who is constantly trying to keep kids on a path to college, I can tell you that I don’t mind LeBron James as a spokesperson. Would a guy who went to college for four years, like teammate Dwyane Wade, been a better option? Probably, but at the same time the kids this is targeted to probably don’t think to themselves “he didn’t go to college, why should I listen him?”
Truth is, and LeBron mentioned it, dropout prevention starts as early as third grade. In Florida, the first state mandated standardized test is at the end of third grade and kids who perform poorly are often tracked into intensive classes. Kids get discouraged and become apathetic towards school which eventually leads to dropping out.
College is meant to prepare you for your chosen career, in LeBron’s case, he was prepared after high school. I would hope people will see him as the exception and not the norm.
Any time a superstar lends his support to the work I do on a daily basis, I don’t see how that can be bad.
Here are both ads, the first is sponsored by the Ad Council and the U.S. Army through BoostUp.Org Is set to start airing today.
The other one, sponsored by State Farm, debuted on Christmas and has the cool visual of the student falling through his bed, but when the student finally sits down and you see LeBron in the back, I cant help but believe the kid was thinking, “Why the heck is Greg Oden hanging out in the back of a high school class?”
Considering it is State Farm, maybe they can use B.J. Raji next time?