In addition to being a full-time college student at Colorado State University, 20-year-old Frank Davis has spent dozens of hours volunteering for MADD — Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The mission of MADD is to end drunken driving and support the victims of drunken-driving crimes.
Those hours earned Davis, a Mountain Vista High School graduate, a MADD Superstar Award. The achievement honors individuals who have volunteered the most hours over the past year. This year, seven people across the Denver metro area were selected.
Davis became interested in volunteering with MADD because his father, who works for the Colorado Department of Transportation, had worked with the organization.
“Once I got into college I wanted to give back and start volunteering, and MADD really was something that I have seen help families,” Davis said in an email correspondence. “So I decided to give my time to them.”
A political science major, Davis volunteered as a legislative intern and joined MADD Colorado’s Public Policy committee last yearHis duties included researchinglegislative issues and assisting in decisions on legislative strategy.
One bill that Davis worked on was House Bill 17-1123, which would allow cities to set their own bar hours. MADD opposed the bill for reasons that included over-consumption of alcohol from people bar-hopping.
Fran Lanzer, state executive director of MADD, said Davis brought a new perspective to the committee.
“Being a college student, he brings some really valuable insight to the issues we are working on,” Lanzer said. “It’s a perspective that we really need because we know that if we are connecting people, whether they are in high school or college, by the time they are 21 and going out, they can plan ahead and will not drive drunk.”
Davis also volunteered for a Victim Impact Panel (VIP) in Fort Collins. He was in charge of setting up and checking people in. The panel is a court-ordered program for individuals who are charged with drunken driving. During the panel, victims of drunken driving share their experiences.
Seeing how the court-ordered participants change is Davis’ favorite part, he said.
“After seeing these presentations, the people who have to attend the VIPs change,” he said. “You can literally see it in their face that they are going to change how they live.”
Through volunteering, Davis acquired a more empathetic outlook on life, learned about the realities of drunken driving and gained insight on politics in the state.
“I got to see how much work actually goes into the offseason of politics in Colorado,” Davis said. “I also learned a lot from seeing the volunteers speak at VIPs. I saw that everyone out there has a story and you will never know it until you get to know them.”
MADD has about 130 core volunteers a year. Despite the name of the organization, volunteer positions aren’t limited to mothers or victims of drunken driving. MADD is always looking for individuals to advocate for victims, help spread the word, speak at events, run information booths and more.
“We have a number of volunteers who are just concerned citizens who just want to make our roads safe,” Lanzer said.
For more information on MADD, visit madd.org/co.