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Sgt. Maxwell R. Dorley Memorial Fund
By Jean Cohoon / March 16, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
“You can’t change the world, but you can make a difference” was the philosophy of the late Sgt. Maxwell R. Dorley, shares his mother, Miatta Dorley. “Max was very compassionate and always felt sorry for people who didn’t have much.”

It was at the wake for the 16-year Providence Police Officer that the family learned the extent of his generosity. “We met a lot of people from Crossroads who told us he had helped them. Max would have blankets and hats in his car, and when he saw someone who needed them, he’d just hand them to the person. He was at Crossroads several times a week,” she explains.

“He did so much for others, and accomplished so much. He had a big heart,” recall his aunts, Sandra Rezendes and Hawa Vincent.

Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Max came to Rhode Island at the age of 11. He attended Perry Middle School and Mt. Pleasant High School, followed by two years at the Community College of Rhode Island, and earned a scholarship to attend medical school at Brown University. Instead of pursuing his own education, Max opted to marry his high school sweetheart, Kou, and worked three jobs to support his family that later included children Amanda and Robert.

“Family was very important to him, and our family is very close-knit,” Miatta says.

Max later worked as a Providence Reserve Officer and a correctional officer at the Adult Correctional Institute before joining the Providence Police Department. Miatta recalls Max’ fellow officers telling her, “He was more than a friend, he was a brother.” Max died in an automobile accident en route to aid fellow officers at a disturbance; he was 41.

Miatta’s niece, Saikon Gbehan, suggested the family establish this fund, designated for Crossroads Rhode Island, through the Foundation. A recipient of a Marilyn Graboys Wool Scholarship (a fund managed by the Foundation), Saikon told her aunt, “This is something perpetual that, through Max, Crossroads would always be taken care of. The Foundation has a good reputation.”

Of her son’s commitment to help those in need, Miatta concludes, “It was his passion, and this is my way of keeping him alive.”
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