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.

Ji Mi Choi: Associate Vice President, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, ASU Knowledge Enterprise

My Story

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.

“ASU 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,” says Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president advancing entrepreneurship and innovation in ASU Knowledge Enterprise.

ASU Foundation, one of Arizona’s oldest nonprofits, raises and invests private contributions to Arizona State University. https://www.asufoundation.org/

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