ASU freshman rallies fellow students behind a cause
Tweets, Facebook posts and text messages are the tools Yu Hin “Jeffrey” Lam uses to get other ASU students fired up about a cause. As a freshman, he’s been so successful getting ASU students to donate blood this year that he’s received a “Hero Award” from United Blood Services for his innovative leadership.
Born in Hong Kong, but raised in Arizona, Lam juggles two cultures, carries a full load of honors classes and thrives on competition. He’ll pit one residence hall against another, reminding donors by phone to drink plenty of water before they show up. He offers points toward prizes, such as movie tickets and ice cream cones.
“Did you know that you save three lives with each pint of blood donated?” he asks a prospective donor in front of Barrett, the Honors College.
An accounting major from Chandler, Lam says he came to ASU because he could get a good education and get involved in all the activities he wanted. He’s active in several student business organizations in the W. P. Carey School as well as Barrett groups, but he also likes to hang out with his friends.
“It’s a very friendly environment at Barrett,” he says. “You can easily form study groups with friends. You can also play pool, watch a football game, work out in the gym. It’s an extraordinary experience.”
He was involved in blood drives at Chandler High School, where he learned to run a committee efficiently and to motivate others.
Lam was only four years old when his family immigrated to America. His parents didn’t have much, he says, but they worked hard to fulfill their dreams, managing a car wash, purchasing a home, gaining citizenship. Lam is the first in his family to attend college.
His favorite class so far is Chinese, since it reconnects him with his heritage, he says. He speaks Cantonese fluently and now is learning Mandarin.
“My relatives in Hong Kong want to study in the United States,” he says. “America is renown for its universities, and an American diploma is sought after.”
Eventually he wants to get his master’s in accountancy, become a CPA and go to work at one of the Big Four accounting firms. Eventually he’d like to work in Hong Kong, to get to know extended family members and experience more of Chinese culture.