Happy New Year

New Year - Same Mindset
Posted on 01/05/2022
New Year – Same Mindset
The past few years have challenged all of us like never before. In what was to be a new beginning, 2021 turned out to be a continuation – maybe even an expansion – of so many tribulations that our students and families continue to struggle with today. But that did not deter us from delivering on what they need most. And it further fueled our mindset that no matter what is going on the world around us, just work. Throughout 2021, LJFF and its community partners continued to do that.
The year kicked off with the announcement of House Three Thirty – an expansive event space set to transform our community with job training, financial health, and community gathering like never before – and the work has continued around the clock every day since. 
It continued with our very first class of I PROMISE students graduating from high school and entering college – many the first in their family to do so. Keeping the promise they made in 3rd grade and taking that monumental leap has changed their trajectory forever. 
We can’t wait for all the exciting things to come in 2022. No matter what the world brings our way, we will always continue to just work
In 2021, we officially broke ground on our I PROMISE Housing with East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp that will soon provide 50 units of affordable housing for our families that need it most.
We purchased and renovated Thirty Five Rhodes, creating a home for Mama S that has dedicated her life to serving the families successfully moving in and out of the I PROMISE Village. 
We helped open the doors to our partner Chase’s new community branch in downtown Akron to serve our community in a new way, made complete with timeless artwork by our I PROMISE students. 
We brought our 330 Ambassadors and I PROMISE movement to McKeesport, Pennsylvania – a community that believes in the I PROMISE way of life and had made it part of their own. 
Our I PROMISE School students and educators continued to persevere as we added another grade level to the groundbreaking public school. This coming school year, IPS will be at full capacity with grades three through eight. And our Family Resource Center continues to expand, providing more services to our families to eliminate as many barriers as possible. 
After debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival, our documentary, I PROMISE, became widely available to a worldwide audience for the first time on YouTube, bringing the inspirational story with classrooms and communities across the country to learn from and rise from. 
We also released our follow-up middle grade novel, We Are Family, that continued to share our family-first approach with kids and families everywhere. 
We continued to bring our families together for meaningful events including our annual We Are Family reunion at Cedar Point, countless family pizza, pasta, and Taco nights – delivering meals to doors when needed, and our annual 330 Ambassador trip, this one to serve the community of Nashville. We also brought LeBron’s feature film debut Space Jam: A New Legacy to our families in Akron first. 
Through it all, we continued to just work. And our incredible partners continued to work right alongside us. Because that’s what families do, and that’s how change is created. 
We can’t wait for all the exciting things to come in 2022. No matter what the world brings our way, we will always continue to just work
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