A smart investment for now and later

PATH supporters Bryan and Martha Kim.

A combination of personal and practical reasons motivated Bryan and Martha Kim to support PATH. Photo: Courtesy of Bryan and Martha Kim.

As a recent college graduate earning his first real paycheck, Bryan Kim was in search of a cause that he could support. With a mind for numbers—he studied computers and was embarking on a career in finance—Bryan was drawn to PATH’s approach to improving global health.

“It really struck me as a good way to leverage financial resources to very big problems,” says Bryan, who found PATH through a charity ranking website. “I had an interest in health issues, and PATH seemed like a good fit with my personal goals and a way to get the most bang for my buck.”

Bryan made his first contribution to PATH in 2003. When he married his wife, Martha, four years later, she joined him in championing solutions for health challenges in the developing world.

“Martha and I both studied computer science as undergraduates, and I like the approach that PATH takes,” explains Bryan, a partner at a New York investment firm. “PATH invests in developing the technology, then further invests to bring that technology to where it is needed. That appealed to the inner technologist in me—that PATH is actually working on product development as well as delivery of services.”

PATH’s work in developing vaccines and diagnostics for pervasive illnesses, in particular, captured Bryan’s attention. The lab on a chip, for example—a portable, credit card–sized device for quickly diagnosing illness without the need for a laboratory—solved a challenging technical problem while also addressing an important health issue.

Martha’s global health interests grew from a more emotional place: the feelings stirred by a speech she heard as a teenager from the head of an organization tackling global poverty and injustice.

“My initial motivation to support global causes was purely just my heart and that compulsion to do something,” says Martha, a computer science professor.

“We’re fortunate to be born into the society we’ve been born into, and I think we have a lot of responsibility to support those who are more vulnerable.”

Martha and Bryan see their support of PATH as akin to adding fertilizer to the base of a tree and watching it grow, flourish, and nurture more life in the garden. Children who thrive in their early years of life or overcome serious illness might go on to be educators, fight for social rights, defeat AIDS, cure cancer…or just live without the daily struggle to stay alive.

“It is a foundational part of how we think about the world,” Bryan says.

By supporting global health and PATH, they’re contributing to a fundamental need in society and helping others build a solid base for the future.