Originally from Durham, North Carolina, Max graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2011 with a degree in political science and a minor in Hispanic studies. In his senior honors thesis, he explored the ways that public perceptions of poverty have influenced domestic policies over the last fifty years.
As a student, Max worked with Student U, an organization created to empower students in the Durham Public Schools to take ownership of their education by developing the academic and personal skills they need to realize their full potential in school and beyond. He also worked as an ESL tutor at Durham Technical Community College, an intern with U.S. Representative David Price, and as the city editor for The Daily Tar Heel, where he managed a staff of reporters and assistant editors covering crime, local politics, and community life. Max received the L. Richardson Preyer Award for Excellence in Political Science, given for a distinguished record of scholarship and service to the community.
As an Autry Fellow, Max helped to revitalize the Disconnected Youth project, which is working to build an education-to-career system in Durham. He also worked on Passing Gear Philanthropy and Rural People, Rural Policy.