Camelot Florida Leader Recognized as Star
Andrew Maxwell, Executive Director at Camelot Academy of Escambia in Pensacola, Florida, has been selected by Pensacola’s Inweekly magazine as a “Rising Star” in 2019. The recognition is a validation of the tireless work Mr. Maxwell does, not only for his students at Camelot, but for the entire Pensacola community.
“All of our directors and campus leadership team members are dedicated to the kids we serve, but Mr. Maxwell is embedded in the community, whether it’s running youth football, starting the Pensacola Lamplighters or his involvement with his fraternity. He has the drive to give back to the community in a way I haven’t seen before,” said Camelot Vice President Kevin Deal.
Inweekly created the “Rising Stars” initiative, “… to help the greater Pensacola community put faces to the names of young leaders seen by their peers, clients and bosses as up and coming leaders in their fields and the community.”
In reality, Mr. Maxwell has been a star in Pensacola for years but never seeks the limelight. It just finds him.
“It’s an honor. I feel like a star is someone who raises everyone else around him as well. I attribute any credit that comes to me to the team that surrounds me,” he says. “My community paved the way for me. I played little league football in the community and became an athlete. It’s always been in me to be better. Working with kids who didn’t necessarily have what you had inspires me to be better and do better for them.”
So how does Mr. Maxwell have time for running a campus, community involvement and his family? He gets his family involved in the community activities. When he works with his mentoring group, he brings his four-year-old son, Andrew Maxwell III, with him. He wants his family to see how important it is to help others.
Maxwell’s roots and family involvement in Pensacola run deep. His uncle, David Alexander, was Pensacola’s first African American police chief.
“He’s retired, and he’s still giving back. He’s a pastor at the church and works hard.”
One reason Camelot Academy of Escambia has been so successful, both for older children and elementary school students who have behavioral challenges, is that Maxwell recruits people who are like-minded.
“He just does a lot of great stuff, and he attracts people who do great stuff,” Deal said. “They will get a struggling student involved with one of these programs outside of the school. Most often, the student is struggling with issues outside of school, and they connect those kids to activities beyond school. Then they have a connection with the parents at a level that is reinforced by their community connections.”
Maxwell and his fraternity organize a trip every summer. They visit historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s) and other colleges.
“We sponsor mentor programs through my fraternity, Omega Psi Phi. I’m always trying to find a way to touch the lives of all types of kids. We have our at-risk kids at Camelot, but we also have kids who have a good structure but need a little public exposure or job exposure, things like that,” Maxwell said.
Previous Rising Stars honorees have the opportunity to nominate other people in the community the following year, which plays right into Maxwell’s belief in bringing others along. You can bet he will want to remove the spotlight from himself and place it on the next deserving person in line.