LeBron James is always giving back to the kids, and now, he’s making sure the young men and women graduating during coronavirus times aren’t left out of all the traditional graduation festivities.
Since so many (read: all, hopefully) schools have either completely canceled graduation ceremonies or transformed them into some sort of virtual experience, LBJ is hosting a televised special for graduating seniors.
“Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020,” is a one-hour event that has been put together by the LeBron James Family Foundation, the XQ Institute, and the Entertainment Institute Foundation. The event is set to air on Complex Networks along with other digital platforms (including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) and on TV commercial-free (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox) on May 16 at 8 p.m. ET.
“At XQ, we work to reimagine the American high school experience—but no one could have imagined the profound changes that have upended the Class of 2020’s final days of the school year,” Russlynn Ali, co-founder and CEO of XQ Institute, explained. “It has been remarkable to watch these young people, in the face of an unprecedented challenge, demonstrate courage and resilience beyond their years. In doing so, they have given every American reason to feel hopeful about our future. #GraduateTogether is an opportunity for us all to pay tribute to what these incredible students have accomplished.”
As for why LeBron is getting involved, he knows what it’s like to be a graduating senior, and he doesn’t think anyone should have to miss out on that experience.
“It’s been a hard few months for all of us, but I especially really feel for the senior class of 2020,” James said in a statement to ESPN. “The end of high school and graduation was one of the best memories of my life. It’s not fair. Every graduating senior needs to know how much we feel for them and hopefully this can help, even a little. This class is going to be special because they know in a real way how to persevere.”
Not only will this help graduates, though, the special will also benefit families who have been most affected by COVID-19 school closures. James’ I PROMISE School and the organizations behind Graduate Together have teamed up with America’s Food Fund and DonorsChoose to ensure students have consistent lunch meals as well as the resources and materials needed for distance learning.
Among the ceremony’s special guests will be Former President Barack Obama, Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai, soccer star Megan Rapinoe, Pharrell, Bad Bunny, Yara Shahidi, H.E.R., and more.