Education is the key to a child’s future, but for some children, learning is more of a struggle. Children with learning disabilities can face daunting challenges. Dr. Alfred Sorbello was especially sensitive to this issue. His niece experienced these difficulties while in school, and he witnessed firsthand the challenges she and her family had to navigate.
Moving from New Jersey to Ellicott City nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Sorbello quickly settled into Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish. His mother eventually came to live with him and was also part of the parish community until her passing. Dr. Sorbello said, “After she passed on, I was looking for some kind of a vehicle where I could give back to the community in the memory of my parents. I wanted something that would be an enduring gift and be focused on an issue that I thought would be important to my mom and dad.” Dr. Sorbello’s parents had also seen the challenges his niece, their granddaughter, faced. So, he established The Alfred and Rose Sorbello Memorial Endowment Fund, a fund focused on children with learning disabilities.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help is home to a pre-K through 8th grade parish school with an enrollment of approximately 230 students. The school offers the Marian Program which is designed to support students with mild to moderate learning differences and to help them realize their full potential. Dr. Victor Pellechia, former Principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, said, “This fund opens some doors for us. Dr. Sorbello’s generosity creates a much-needed formalized resource for us. We do have special programs and learning materials that need to be purchased each year.”
Dr. Sorbello hopes this fund will help highlight the issues and the challenges for learning disabled kids and their families. He wants to “start the conversation.” He said, “Hopefully this will be something that will grow and be able to provide increased resources and help to the children. That’s the main thing, giving them the best chance to be successful in their lives and in their careers.”