By Andrea Nicolls
Member, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
One of Riderwood’s greatest assets is the large number of support staff who help its population of residents navigate the challenges of aging. Many of this staff come from overseas, particularly Africa and the Caribbean. They work full time and also go to school part-time to further their education. Recognizing the value of fostering the staff’s educational pursuits, Riderwood has maintained a scholarship program for workers in high school and college as well as adult learners.
Maxwell Taylor is one such recipient. When Maxwell arrived in the United States in December 2008 from the West African country of Liberia, he couldn’t believe his good fortune. Now 30 years old, it has taken Maxwell four tries to finally be accepted as a resident in this country. His father and sponsor, a financial analyst for a German development company, have resided in this country since 2004 along with Maxwell’s mother, brother and sister. Why it had taken so many numerous tries, Maxwell couldn’t say as immigration officials don’t tell you. He nevertheless prevailed and considers himself lucky.
Upon arriving in the United States, Maxwell had just graduated from high school in Liberia and was contemplating his future. His sister, who attended High Point High School here in Maryland, had a classmate who worked at Riderwood. She conveyed this information to Maxwell and encouraged him to seek employment at the continuing care community. Maxwell was successful and began his career in April 2009 at Riderwood in dining at Arbor Ridge (then called Renaissance Gardens). He then went to the housekeeping department in 2012 and received a Riderwood scholarship to continue his education. At the same time, Maxwell began Montgomery College with a major in health management. He then switched to hospitality management which Maxwell decided was really his forte. He now attends Prince George’s Community College in Largo four evenings a week while he continues to work in customer service and communication at Riderwood full-time as a mail clerk, copier and communication specialist. He will graduate next year and attend the Universities at Shady Grove-University of Maryland. Maxwell hopes to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in hospitality management.
Maxwell lives on his own and enjoys several hobbies including watching movies and reading graphic design books. He attends Winners Chapel International Maryland in Lanham, MD, a branch of the Living Faith Church Worldwide.