Every morning at 4 a.m., Malibu High School junior Angel Diaz begins his commute from Hawthorne to get to school on time.
But Diaz isn’t just a student—Diaz volunteers for the Malibu High School Best Buddies Club, the nonprofit organization with a mission of establishing a “global volunteer movement” that creates opportunities to create friendships and help individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition, Diaz spends his spare time working as referee for soccer games in Malibu. And not only has Diaz shown dedication in his studies and volunteering, he has shown great interest in creating friendships.
Director of Partnerships for the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability Madelyn Glickfeld, who nominated Diaz for one of this year’s Youth Dolphin Awards, said Diaz’s success and strong character come from his family, especially the support of his mother, whom Glickfeld shared, has done a great job in providing her son with opportunities to succeed.
“His mother believes in Malibu schools,” Glickfeld said in a phone interview with The Malibu Times. “I think the biggest challenge for children growing up in America today as Latinos is to get to the place where they expect to achieve a great deal and that they have the confidence. She’s raised him with that confidence and the desire to be somebody special.”