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Magic Johnson Launches Program To Help At-Risk Kids Graduate

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Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Basketball great Magic Johnson is one of the biggest sports stars of our generation

Wednesday he was in Chicago and was brought to tears in public. CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot shows us what got Magic so choked up.

“I’ve been so blessed in life. I’m just trying to give back to the same community I grew up in,” said Magic Johnson.

Basketball star and business mogul Earvin “Magic” Johnson wiped away tears after hearing 18 year-old Haman Cross speak.

“To open such a school in the Lawndale community, is a beacon of hope to the young student body and the community,” said Cross.

Cross is a student at the Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy. Cross was homeschooled and he was unable to get a high school diploma. Through his online course work here, that’s going to change. Johnson was so touched by hearing Cross speak, he offered him a four year scholarship for college.

“Apparently he deemed me worthy and I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the hero and the inspiration that man is,” said Cross.

With Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago rapper and actor Common by his side, Johnson announced his new “Friends of Magic” organization. The goal is to encourage individuals and businesses to mentor young people or donate to the programs that help drop outs receive their high school diplomas.

“I have a daughter and I needed to be her role model. I don’t want anyone else to be her role model,” said student Tashay Young.

“I just want to make sure my time on this earth, I use it to affect change in urban America,” said Magic Johnson.

Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy partners with CPS to reach at risk young people. Right now, there are 17 academies around the country. Johnson says, by the end of this year, there will be 40 locations, nationwide.

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