Lookout LeBron James. Kevin Hart & Chris Paul are two stars also putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to education.
Hot on the heels of James opening the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio catering to at-risk and under-privileged youth, Paul and Hart are giving back big TIME.
Hart just revealed his charity (Help From The Hart Charity) has established a $600,000 scholarship fund for college students. He has teamed up with Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) schools and the United Negro College Fund to surprise 18 students who plan to attend HBCUs.
“Yesterday I surprised 18 #HBCU with scholarships to complete their college degrees…. major thank you to my partners @UNCF @kippschools for helping me,” he captioned on Instagram.
KIPP and Help From The Hart Charity each donated $300,000 towards the funds. The students will attend 11 HBCUs, including including Tuskegee University, Xavier University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark AtlantaUniversity. The college bound students are from eight different cities, and eight of them are from his hometown of Philly.
“Education and knowledge are powerful. I just wanted to do my part in providing opportunities for our future leaders, especially from my Philly hometown and show support for HBCUs,” the Night School actor said in a statement. “This is just the beginning; trust me when I tell you there are a lot more kids who want to go to college who don’t have the money to make it happen.”
Meanwhile his good pal and Houston Rockets point guard also gave back to his hometown of North Carolina, donating $2.5 million to the Wake Forest Basketball program. Paul’s donation to his alma mater is the largest donation ever by a former basketball student, athlete or any alumnus under the age of 35.
The 33-year-old’s gift will help transform the men’s and women’s basketball clubhouses with expanded and enhanced locker rooms, nutrition resources and treatment areas. The new Chris Paul Locker Room for the men’s team will be named in his honor.
“Giving back has always been important to my family and me, and Wake Forest is part of my family,” the father of-two said of his most recent gift to support the Wake Will Lead campaign.
“The recent investments towards improving Wake Forest Athletics are amazing, and now is the time to give back in a meaningful way. The locker room transformation project inspired me, because that’s where players build relationships and create a unifying camaraderie that is the foundation of success on the court. Forming lifelong friendships with your teammates is one of the most rewarding aspects of sports,” he said.
Paul’s philanthropic impact on the Winston-Salem area also includes an endowment for scholarships at Wake Forest. In 2007, Paul established the Nathaniel Jones Student Scholarship in memory of his grandfather and mentor, which awards two scholarships (one athletic and one academic) annually to deserving students, with a preference for those from Forsyth County.
In 2013, Wake Forest retired Paul’s No. 3 jersey, which now hangs in the rafters of Lawrence Joel Veterans MemorialColiseum.
Its no coincidence that Paul and Hart made charitable donations within days of each other. The two buddies have worked together over the years to give back and also donate toys and gifts to families during their annual Toy and Food Drive.