LANSING – Earvin “Magic” Johnson returned home to Lansing Thursday for the third consecutive year as host of the Lansing Promise Dinner.
Johnson, alongside his wife, Cookie, kicked off the event by fielding questions from a few of the roughly 1,000 people inside the Lansing Center. While questions centered on basketball, Johnson took a moment to reflect on the attention his teachers gave him when he needed it most.
Reading at an eighth-grade level as a high school sophomore, Johnson’s teacher pushed him to take extra reading classes and attend summer school to help him catch up and graduate.
“That’s what happens when you have teachers that care,” Johnson said, to enthusiastic applause.
The annual event raises money for the Lansing Promise, a scholarship that helps Lansing graduates take up to 65 credits at Lansing Community College for free or receive the equivalent in fees and tuition to attend Michigan State University or Olivet College. Kellie Dean, chair of the Lansing Promise Foundation board, announced during the event, which raised $1.1 million last year, that the scholarship program has now helped 100 students graduate from college.