NBA star LeBron James has been dedicated to making an impact in the lives of youth. According to CBS News, the Ohio native recently teamed up with Lyft to surprise teens with free access to bikes.
James’ experiences growing up inspired him to participate in the “Lyft Up” initiative. During his childhood he would use a bicycle to travel to and from safe spaces after school. While in New York City to compete against the Knicks, the 35-year-old stopped by a Harlem-based YMCA on Tuesday to surprise a group of teens with free bike-share memberships.
“Growing up, a bike changed everything for me,” he said before the crowd. “It was more than a way to go see my friends or play basketball – it was a way of life. A bike opened doors, allowed me to get to safe places after school, and gave me access to opportunities I never would have known.” Through the initiative, Lyft hopes to make bike-sharing accessible to thousands of teens in underserved communities throughout the country. “Taking care of the local communities is both the right thing to do and good for business,” Lyft President and co-founder John Zimmer told CNBC. “With LeBron as our inspiration, we want to demonstrate how transportation can be a spark that helps young people reach their full potential.”
The company plans to roll out the initiative in New York, Chicago, Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area this year.
James is no stranger to philanthropy. In November, he announced that he will be adding transitional housing for the families of students at his I Promise School that are facing financial hardships. He has also been focused on combatting food insecurity. He collaborated with Walmart on a campaign to spread awareness about hunger in America and opened a pantry for underprivileged families at his school.