Unique Scholarship for Young Adults with Learning Differences in STEM Studies Awarded Grant from Venerable Salt Lake City Foundation

Salt Lake City, UT., June 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Joseph James Morelli Scholarship Fund, administered by the Park City Community Foundation, today announced it has received a $20,000 grant by the Sorenson Legacy Foundation of Salt Lake City to assist scholarship awardees attending the University of Utah.

The Morelli scholarship is unique among high school and college level scholarships in its support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) achievement among those with dyslexia and other learning challenges.

The scholarship and the Morelli Foundation provide young adult students with learning differences resources needed to navigate an often highly stressful and challenging academic environment, including tuition, educational materials, and specialized testing.

More importantly, the Morelli Foundation, through the all too often ignored recognition for hard work and struggles it provides students, helps to instill confidence and courage needed to surmount the challenges of learning disabilities and advance along their academic path.

Each year the Joseph James Morelli Scholarship receives hundred of applicants from around the country making the review process very competitive. To date, the fund has given 69 scholarship awards totaling over $87,000 to students from 22 states and we are committed to continuing to support our awardees though their academic/ vocational process with the ability to reapply each year.This grant joins other endowments by the Sorenson Legacy Foundation at the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Utah State University, Southern Utah University and Westminster College.

The Sorenson Legacy Foundation was created to improve the lives of others and the world in which we live. Founded by the late biotechnology pioneer and entrepreneur James LeVoy Sorenson and his wife, education philanthropist Beverley Taylor Sorenson, the foundation provides support for a wide range of endeavors, from community development and education to health care, scientific and artistic pursuits.

“We are most grateful to the Sorenson Legacy Foundation for its recognition and support of the critical assistance our Fund provides young adults with learning differences such as Dyslexia,” commented Barbara Wirostko (Morelli) MD, the scholarship’s founder and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah. "I am pleased to see the recognition for the challenges faced by those with learning differences as well as the acknowledgement of an awardee’s years of hard work that often goes unrecognized.

About the Joseph James Morelli Scholarship

The Joseph James Morelli Scholarship Fund was established in 2014 following the tragic death of Joseph Morelli, a junior at Montana State University while pursuing mechanical engineering. Joseph struggled with severe dyslexia all his life, not being diagnosed till a freshmen in high school when the failing grades, anxiety, depression, and low self esteem were all too real. He had compensated until the work got too difficult. Joseph went on to succeed, making Dean’s list in High School and College but not without an IEP/504 and the very necessary accommodations that enabled him to develop the confidence and belief in himself that enabled him to accomplish his goals. With accommodations, resources, testing, and the fostering of self confidence, so many students are possible of success. Our mission of “honoring Joseph’s spirit with scholarships to recognize learning challenged students and empower them to believe in themselves” continues to be achieved. Please consider making a donation so we can continue to make a difference and change lives.

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