When Lucas Lam ’17 first visited Colby from Southern California, he wasn’t sold. But then he jumped into his first snowbank and promptly got stuck.
“Some Colby kids dragged me out and I was like, ‘Wow! People at Colby are so nice,’” he said. “Then I started taking the visit a little more seriously.” He enrolled, and within months he was helping economically disadvantaged high school students do the same.
Lam was a co-leader of Amnesty International, served on the Multi-Faith Council committee, and helped coordinate Colby Live, a program that introduces prospective students to Colby.
A soon-to-be science, technology, and society major, Lam was born in Arizona but spent his early years in Hong Kong. When he was five, his parents moved to California, where his mother worked with Gallo Winery and his father was a mechanic. His Colby visit introduced him to snow.
Since coming to Mayflower Hill, Lam has taken his strong work ethic and service sensibility back to Southern California, where he spent Jan Plan working with Bright Prospect, a Pomona organization that helps students prepare for college. Lam’s experience left him determined to start a similar program in central Maine. He envisions a Central Maine Scholars program, which would give students ready to commit themselves to college the tools to make it happen.
Lam said investing in promising students through tutoring, financial aid, and other college preparatory programs can help entire communities—that there’s an economic loss when a promising student isn’t given opportunities. When you help students succeed, he said, they’ll return to their communities ready to make a positive difference of their own.
“Pomona needs that,” Lam said. “Waterville needs that. A lot of places need that.”
Philanthropy at Work
Lucas Lam ’17 is involved in a lot at Colby—and there’s a lot of financial aid keeping him here. He receives assistance from the Judith P. and William R. Timken Scholarship Fund, the John O. Crawford Scholarship Fund for Colby Men, and the Robert M. Crowell Memorial Fund. His work in Pomona, Calif., was supported by a stipend he received as a Ralph Bunche Scholar, and this summer he’s working with the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences thanks to support from the Linda K. Cotter Student Internship Fund. “I wouldn’t have been able to come here without financial aid. That’s why I care about access to higher education.”