Savannah Brinson James, the wife of a certain Cleveland Cavaliers megastar, is expanding her community efforts in her hometown by launching the Women of Our Future mentorship program.
WOOF, which James initially announced during her keynote speech at the “For Women, Forever” dinner Tuesday, March 7, will provide high school girls in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio, one-on-one mentorship, encouragement and academic aid as the students continue their education. Included in the new group are 16 students from Buchtel Community Learning Center, where James attended in the early aughts.
“I wanted to start the Women of Our Future program because I know the struggles and pressures a lot of these young women are facing during these tough high school years, and I want them to know they are supported every step of the way,” James said in a press release. “I’m passionate about empowering and encouraging these young women because they are the future leaders of our community.
“I’m honored and excited to be in a position to work with them.”
In partnership with the local iC.A.R.E. Mentoring program, WOOF will “inspire, uplift and support young Akron women through research-based and volunteer-driven interventions.”
“We are grateful to Savannah James for shining a spotlight on this critical program,” Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit County said in an emailed statement Friday, March 31. “Currently, there are more students in need of mentors than volunteers to serve. Ms. James’ endorsement of and participation in iC.A.R.E through ‘Women of Our Future’ will help motivate our corporate partners to get their employees involved in changing young lives.”
“Our gratitude to the James family is profound,” said Akron Public Schools Superintendent David W. James said in a statement to Akron Beacon Journal. “We applaud and welcome Savannah James’ ongoing efforts to support and guide girls.
“She is a wonderful example for young women everywhere, not just in our community.”
The Women of Our Future program is the next step in James’ philanthropic efforts. She launched the I PROMise Makeover in 2013, an annual event that encourages confidence and helps girls get ready for prom when they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. James also regularly volunteers with the LeBron James Family Foundation, launched by her NBA husband.