AKRON, Ohio — When the LeBron James Family Foundation’s House Three Thirty opens later this month, a new Starbucks Community Store will be among several new training amenities designed to empower I Promise Program students and their families, the foundation said in a release.
The new, licensed Starbucks Community Store — whose first cohort is composed of I Promise students, teachers, parents and other family members — is planned to serve the community in a new way, the LJFF said.
The Starbucks is located inside House Three Thirty, the LJFF’s education, job training and community-event facility, developed in Akron’s former Tangier Restaurant & Cabaret, a spacious, multi-level building near downtown.
House Three Thirty was built to provide the hands-on job training and work experience I Promise families want, said LJFF Executive Director Michele Campbell.
“We’re so thankful to Starbucks for trusting us to help rewrite the handbook on what job training looks like and how we can employ people for their futures,” Campbell said. “What you can expect from this location is caring and prepared team members, ‘be best’ service, a warm and welcoming environment, and a community model that we believe can change the world.”
Reimagined training at the Starbucks’s will meld industry skills with life skills, while incorporating the foundation’s “We Are Family” philosophy, the foundation said.
House Three Thirty is planned to officially open March 30 — Akron’s 330 Day. It is the most recent facility in the I Promise Program, which includes the I Promise School, I Promise Village and I Promise HealthQuarters, a new primary care center planned to open later this year.
The facilities are designed to work to provide wrap-around services for I Promise Program students and their family members.
With House Three Thirty and the new Starbuck’s a stone’s throw away from other I Promise facilities, the coffee shop will feature a family sitting area and an outdoor patio for people to gather, the LJFF said, with all proceeds going back into the foundation.
House Three Thirty team member D'Onjai White, the new Starbucks assistant store manager, said the chance to learn and work on the team of the new Starbucks is “life-changing.”
According to Campbell, the Starbucks Community Store represents many positive things, from working students earning GEDs to I Promise parents seeking better paying and more meaningful jobs to those exploring a new industry.
“And while they’re pursuing their own passions, they’re fueling it in others with their service,” Campbell said. “This can touch so many lives.”
Now in its fifth year, the I Promise School currently serves 452 students from third grade to eighth grade, while the I Promise Program extends to more than 1,600 students in the Akron Public Schools district, the foundation said.