The Sounding Board

Episode 19: Joseph James Morelli Legacy Foundation

February 21st, 2022

Enjoy some Monday morning mobile PD on your drive to school as you learn about the Jospeh James Morelli Legacy Foundation!

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Many students who learn differently, in this case dyslexics, are highly intelligent and may possess special gifts like creativity or facility with math and science, that can enable them to flourish, if given the chance. Unfortunately, many academic institutions still don’t recognize the needs of these students, too often casting them aside and labeling them as lazy or unintelligent crushing their self-esteem in the process. The question is, beyond receiving academic accommodations, how can these students realize their potential, so they shine as or more brightly than traditional learners?

The answer has appeared repeatedly in the many letters received by Dr. Barbara Wirostko Morelli the driving force behind the Joseph James Morelli Legacy Foundation, a Park City 501c3 organization that grants scholarships to dyslexic high school and college students pursuing careers in STEM. Despite the modest amounts of the scholarships, the awardees are exceptionally grateful, and their gratitude is almost uniformly rooted in one concept: BELIEF. Granting these students scholarships, demonstrates that the Morelli Foundation believes in them, which helps them to believe in themselves.

Recently the Morelli Foundation further demonstrated belief in its scholarship recipients by creating a peer mentorship program, in conjunction with SuperPower Consulting. This program pairs incoming college freshmen, who are dyslexic, with dyslexic upperclassmen to help them navigate the challenges of being college freshmen. The mentors help with everything from getting academic accommodations to time management, the social challenges of being a college freshman. The beauty of the program is mentors, who have been in their shoes and succeeded, help the mentees to believe that they can succeed as well. Armed with belief in themselves, the sky’s the limit. One of them might become the next Sir Richard Branson, Charles Schwab or Walt Disney.

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