Volunteer profile: John Madrid

"UC Santa Cruz was and still is a magical place for me," says alumni volunteer John Madrid.

Oakes '98

Residence: Los Angeles

Title: Assistant vice president, information technology officer, California United Bank

Why do you volunteer with UC Santa Cruz?

UC Santa Cruz was and still is a magical place for me. A huge part of what I learned there, both inside and outside of my declared major, was a sense of social justice and giving back to the community. These ideals have remained with me ever since I left UC Santa Cruz and are a key part of why I volunteer.

Why types of things do you do as a Slug volunteer?

I have had the privilege to serve on the Alumni Council for seven years, I was the treasurer for the LA chapter of UC Santa Cruz volunteers for two years, I help with hosting local happy hours for Los Angeles alumni, and I have participated in the high school outreach program.

What has been the most rewarding thing about volunteering with your alma mater?

The list is numerous. However, I have particularly enjoyed giving back to the campus and faculty that helped to shape my life in so many ways. Additionally, it has been such a pleasure to work with and meet incoming and existing students, as well as alumni of UC Santa Cruz. Some of my closest friends today are fellow alumni that I met while volunteering for campus.

Words of advice for those thinking of volunteering with UC Santa Cruz?

What are you waiting for? Volunteering for UC Santa Cruz not only provides you with the opportunity to give back to campus but also a chance to reconnect with current students and fellow alumni.

What's your best memory from your time at UC Santa Cruz?

There are hundreds, and I love getting the chance to re-live them whenever I visit campus. A few that stand out, however, are “surfing the web” for the first time in my life at the Oakes computer lab in the mid '90’s; getting accepted to the Education Abroad Program and having the opportunity to study abroad for a year; and exploratory walks on campus at night that included many false sightings of mountain lions, drum circles, and finding new paths to navigate campus.