Ji Mi Choi: Why I choose to give
At Arizona State University, faculty and staff are uniquely positioned to see firsthand the many initiatives and programs that make life better for all of us.
I am an immigrant from South Korea. I moved to the United States when I was a baby. My parents came to New York for better opportunities, better economic possibilities, better educational opportunities. I’m the first in my family to graduate from college and the only one in my family to have an advanced degree. That does inform quite a lot about my work, my choices.
Arizona State University is the most exciting thing happening in education, and we have the opportunity to not only revolutionize the delivery of education but the societal impact of education as a whole.
Why I Give
ASU plays an outsized role in the overall well-being of our community, and any contribution, whether that’s small or large, can actually make a difference. Lots of people think philanthropy is for people that have lots of extra money and something you do after all your basic needs are kind of met. But being part of the philanthropic circle means that you also benefit from your own philanthropic giving. I benefit from a healthier, more resilient, stronger community all around me because it’s the place where I live and work.
No matter how much you’re contributing, you’re contributing to the greater good of a greater society that can benefit and can grow together. It sounds corny, but it’s actually true because even your $5 can add to additional dollars that are being put in and, collectively, that’s where the impact is.
What I Care About
ASU has an incredible, high degree of interaction, partnership and collaboration with the community, and Valley of the Sun United Way is one of the ways to uphold that.
We have a direct impact on the school feeding program, we have a direct impact on emergency economic support, we have a direct impact on things like aiding homelessness. These are important issues, especially when areas like greater Phoenix continue to expand and grow, and ASU is a large part of that goal.
The idea that we are fueling growth that could be of greater benefit to larger parts of society is super important. It really does help uphold the principle of what we’re trying to accomplish here.
‘Why I Give’: Stories from ASU faculty and staff
- Wendy Peia Oakes: The reason I support future teachers now
- Keith Miller: They don’t have perfect SAT scores, but they deserve an opportunity
- Neal Lester: Here’s what I’ve learned about caring
- Anna Wales: The first gift I ever gave was $5. And it lit a fire in my heart
- Flavio F. Marsiglia: ‘How can I ask others to help if I am not helping first?’
- Michelle Johnson: ‘I was one of those children who was from an underserved community’
- Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: The gift no one can take away