Daily Point of Light # 2122 Mar 22, 2002

Max Madrid is the Director of Gang Prevention for Community Services Programs (CSP) in Orange County, California. He is totally committed to making a difference for the next generation in his county, and that is evident in his professional and personal life. Madrid faced the challenge of being independent at a young age. Though he had a large extended family, his immediate family all but disappeared and he had to fend for himself. He looked to the United States Navy as his niche for excellence for the next 20 years of his life after his emancipation.

Madrid is flexible, accepting of people’s differences, and has a love of people. These are excellent characteristics for a recruiter in the military. Because of his qualities, he was able to guide young people into their own Naval career. He was there to do whatever the recruits needed in the area of assistance to pass their entrance requirements and become part of the Navy recruit class. Madrid helped to develop young men and women into believers because he believed in them and his heroic commitment of time was never ending.

When Max Madrid came to CSP to work in Gang Prevention, he converted Navy recruitment into prevention for adolescent gang recruitment. His mission was to bring a complete commitment to bettering the conditions and potential of underachieving, at-risk youth in Orange County. He has been involved with CSP for nine years and has been an integral part of their team.

Madrid has coordinated the annual Toys for Tots drive that provides more than 20,000 toys annually to children in the community. At least 15 volunteers participate every year, giving an average of 2,000 hours of service. He has also collaborated with Restaurant Garcia in the “We Give Thanks” dinner where lines of parents and children stretch for two to three blocks on Thanksgiving Day to receive dinner. Max Madrid recruits 50 volunteers who work hard the entire day, but all leave with personal enrichment because they have helped better someone else’s life.

In addition, Madrid developed the Tattoo Removal Program with more than $200,000 of in-kind medical services donated. One young woman sung the praises of this program because having her tattoos removed opened doors of employment for her. She was no longer labeled “at-risk” because of her “clear skin.” Other recipients of the service found it easier because they no longer have to explain tattoos to their small children. Madrid has recruited members from the California State University Spanish Club to volunteer academic tutoring for the past four years. He has also recruited volunteers from Lockheed Martin to tutor failing students, coordinated four workshops for Logan Street youngsters, and coordinated and promoted an annual golf tournament that raises money for gang prevention.