NBA star Lebron James stood by Michelle Obama as she campaigned for her “Better Make Room” higher education program on Wednesday at University of Akron in Ohio. James and Obama spoke to 2,500 students urging them to go to college to get a higher education and had them make a pledge declaring their commitment to doing so.
Obama’s “Better Make Room” campaign wants to send out a strong message to society – that colleges should seek the same amount of admiration and respect on committed and outstanding students as it does to athletes and celebrities. The campaign wants influential public figures, like Lebron, and widely used social media platforms such as Vine, and Mashable and Funny to keep this message going.
The First Lady believes that there’s nothing more important than education. During a private Q&A with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, Obama says,
It is the absolute best investment that young people can make in their futures. I just don’t think we talk about that enough. We don’t shine a light on that.
Even though Lebron went straight to the NBA out of high school, he still urges kids to go to college. He emphasized on his situation being different and that that’s not the case for everyone else. He explains,
I think my situation is different. Personally, what I was going through as a 17-year old kid, what my mother was going through and what my family was going through at the time financially, I had to make the right decision for my family right then and there.
When he left for Miami and returned back to his hometown, he says he factored in the influence that he had back in Cleveland.
It was up there at the top. If not first or second, as high as it could be. And just reading and seeing what my community was going through while I was away, it kind of hit home for me in understanding how big my influence is and how important my muscle is right now has nothing to do with the game of basketball…. There are so many kids that have so many dreams, and those dreams get shut off because of so many different reasons. It could be a family situation or it could be just they don’t believe that their dreams can become reality. With this education program that we’re setting up, it allows that dream to become real.
This is a strong campaign that Obama is behind and she believes everyone, no matter status, race or financial reason should have a fair shot of getting a higher education. She closes out by saying,
I want to make sure that our kids in this country are achieving [their] goals and they have the resources they need for school regardless of their background. So, we want to make room for your stories. We want to make sure you all are inspiring each other and that we’re rekindling that hunger for education in every single one of our kids.