Swimmer Simone Manuel, who became the first black woman to win an individual gold medal in swimming, has a mission in mind.
Since the announcement and the opening of the LeBron James‘ “I Promise” school in Akron, OH, it is taking some major strides in educating the children. While the model is still new, and has a limited number of students to start with, they are reportedly getting some masterful education from iconic educators.
Some famous faces have made their visit to this school, and very recently, the students were addressed by Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Simone Manuel.
According to News One, Olympic champion Simone Manuel paid a visit to NBA superstar LeBron James‘ new school in Akron, Ohio, Friday.
She spoke as an ambassador for the USA Swimming Foundation, which will provide free swim lessons to every student at a camp in June 2019, according to Manuel’s Instagram post.
USA Swimming Foundation released a study which revealed that 64 percent of Black children don’t know how to swim. Moreover, 79 percent of children who come from low-income families are at risk of drowning because they lack swimming skills.
Simone Manuel made it a point to address that when she visited 'I Promise' school. Not only does she want to change the narrative, but she also wants to save more lives.
When she met the students at the school, she spoke about water safety and also encouraged them to learn how to swim. After Simone Manuel became the first African American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in swimming during the 2016 Rio Olympics, she made it her mission to inspire others who look like her to learn to swim.
Turning pro in 2018, Manuel is an ambassador of the USA Swimming Foundation and is very "vocal about her desire to lower the high drowning rate within the Black population through her work with the foundation, which provides swim lessons to communities nationwide – regardless of students’ ability to pay," Swim Swam reports.
Reportedly, through her partnership with the foundation and Akron Area YMCA, every student at the Ohio school is set to receive swim lessons this summer.
"Many thanks to @usaswimming foundation and @akronareaymca for partnering with me to provide swim lessons at a week-long camp in June 2019 for every student!," Manuel wrote in an Instagram post. "Working to change the statistic and give the lifesaving gift of swimming."
Simone Manuel Visits Lebron James' I Promise School In Akron https://t.co/3TFwIFgawQ— SwimSwam (@swimswamnews) 7 March 2019
The leaders of the black community, especially those who have come from humble beginnings and rose to the level of legends, are thinking that education is the new wave that is going to bring the real change for the community.
The I Promise School, which was the brainchild of LeBron James, is one of the initiatives that is trying to translate this sentiment.
The I Promise School opened last summer and currently serves students in grades three and four, with plans to teach grades one through eight by 2022.
The school is specifically designed to cater to at-risk youth in the Akron area and features 8-5 school days with a shortened summer vacation. There are also family-oriented programs, including GED courses for parents.
It only makes more sense to inspire the up-and-coming generation to meet the current achievers and the stars such as Simone Manuel.