A gang leader turned peacemaker, Matt Sanchez founded All for One youth mentoring in East Santa Barbara. His efforts earned him the respect of local youth, law enforcement and elected officials because of his success at helping gang-involved young people find alternatives to violence. Sanchez balanced his violence prevention work while running a barbershop, where private donors would often come to drop off checks for the youth program.Sanchez’ efforts were recognized with a California Peace Prize in 2000. He died on August 8, 2012 from complications related to liver cancer.
“It is important to remember the peacemaking efforts of Matt Sanchez, who helped redirect the lives of many youth who were once prone to violence,” said TCWF President and CEO Diana M. Bontá. “With the tragedy of recent mass shootings, it is especially important to recognize successful violence prevention efforts like his. My condolences go out to the Sanchez family, who I am sure is very proud of his legacy.”