There are countless reasons why we look up to athletes. The reason I’ve always looked up to athletes is because they go out there and pursue their dreams. Then there are other athletes who go above and beyond to give back to their communities. A great example of that is 3-time NBA Champion LeBron James who through his LeBron James Family Foundation has donated over $41 Million to send 1,100 kids to college at the University of Akron. Because of this donation, LeBron has become the 6th most charitable athlete in the world. He joins a list with some of the greatest athletes in the world today that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, John Cena and Serena Williams who are the top 3 on this list.

James told ESPN when asked about why he was donating that, “It’s the reason I do what I do. These students have big dreams, and I’m happy to do everything I can to help them get there. They’re going to have to earn it, but I’m excited to see what these kids can accomplish knowing that college is in their futures.”

One of my first dreams in my life was to go to college. Growing up with autism, many people didn’t believe I stood a chance at a post-secondary education. I can relate to LeBron today because, after I graduated college and proved the naysayers wrong, I started a scholarship program for students with autism to college. Like LeBron I had a similar thought in mind. These students inspire to do amazing things in their lives. Many of them have had to overcome countless obstacles in their lives to even get to the point where a post-secondary education could be a possibility.

Through the charitable donations of people in our community we were able to start a scholarship program that has been able to see countless students with autism achieve their goals of getting a post-secondary education. As an avid basketball enthusiast, and someone who has looked up to LeBron time and time again, all I can do is say thank you to him along with all the other athletes out there who take the time to make a difference in their communities.

As JFK one said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” Through people like LeBron, we are helping that future in an amazing way. We are thankful to him and others for that.