Tue04152014

Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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Leadership Enrichment Center to offer STEM scholarships

Rich Lorey sponsors three “Fun Physics” scholarships to Center students

The founder of the new Leadership Enrichment Center (LEC) announced today that Rich Lorey, PhD Physics, and retired NSWC Biochemical Warfare director, will be providing scholarship applications for three sponsored “Fun Physics” positions for students ages 8-12 or ages 13-18 at the LEC Open House to be held on Aug. 1 at 11165 Journal Parkway in King George.

Lorey, who is also running for the James Monroe seat on the King George Board of Supervisors, will be teaching the “Fun Physics” course and states “eligible applicants are disadvantaged, or bright youth who are failing to thrive.” Lorey recalls that as one of nine children growing up in a two room tenement with no father, he has a strong desire to give back to the community with his service and his skills.  

LEC founder Arlene Jacovelli, a King George Home School mother of four, is the catalyst behind the opening of the not-for-profit Leadership Enrichment Center. Jacovelli is convinced that many youth, especially young men, are often over-diagnosed and over-medicated with learning disorders simply for having a streak of genius, a strong personality, glitches in neuronal mechanisms or for just being active, healthy boys.

“The public schools have a hard time dealing with these youth”, she said. “Many of these children are home schooled and parents are looking for enrichment opportunities for them. We intend for the Leadership Enrichment Center to fill that void in this community. We will want to have opportunities in several areas for home schooled children and those who will find in our opportunities what they lack in the public schools.
“I find it disappointing that only 8% of U.S. college graduates obtain a STEM degree. Few states offer high school credit for Computer Science.

“My other concern is that young ladies learn differently from young boys. I had two boys and two girls and the current public school system does not meet their unique learning styles. Girls need to love science and math from their vantage points. By creating LEC I am hoping to encourage individuals from their point of interest or strength in an environment that builds character through self-governance and a moral foundation.”

Jacovelli remembers that her own father recounted how he was challenged in school for being active, intelligent and different, and she has a son whom she must advocate for who began building rocket thrusters at age five, and blew up a school bathroom to get expelled from Kindergarten because he wanted to be home with Mom!

Jacovelli recalls “The school system wrote off my Father and was trying to write off one of my sons. My Father had a violent alcoholic father, grew up very poor and has a profound hearing disability but my Grandmother was an amazing person and she determined he could learn and we were all taught a “can-do” attitude and work ethic. To this day there isn’t much of anything my Father cannot fix and my son is quickly following in his father and Grandfather’s steps.

“My Father was supervisor of an international lumber mill, ran our small ranch operation, bought and sold cars on the side, all the while having inventions strung all over our house.

“It was not uncommon in our house to have Chinese or Taiwanese to dinner at our old wood table to invest in some current invention of my father’s. Once Donny and Marie Osmond got involved in one project promotion and my brother and I were on their show.

“But usually I was milking the cows, and goats, feeding the chickens, and slopping the hogs, while Dad travelled to different parts of the world. One project was a wind turbine energy system that he and his high school buddy sold to the World Bank to power aborigine outback villages.”

Jacovelli excitedly commented that “It is a tremendous asset that King George County has so many professional people who want to give back like Rich Lorey. I kept watching him interacting with my son, talking for hours and I knew this is the answer to boys like him. I have so many other professionals with terrific backgrounds who have the same heart for youth who want to join in as we develop this Center.
“Our community is like a gold mine of professional people resources. I was so happy when the Navy transferred my husband to Virginia because of the rich history, but then to find such a great community of people just iced the cake.”

While Jacovelli’s original profession was marketing and special events production, her interest in developing the leadership potential of young men developed when she began volunteering with the California-Nevada Gang Alternative program and became a Court Appointed Special Advocate, while also mentoring foster youth.

In 2000, while still recovering from a nearly fatal vehicle accident several years earlier which caused permanent physical injuries and a traumatic brain injury that required extensive neuro-cognitive rehabilitation and speech therapy, she co-founded an agency that served at-risk youth, and other individuals, including Veterans, with co-occurring mental health and/or intellectual disabilities exiting the judicial system, or substance abuse facilities who required remedial education, and specialized Life Skills services.

Jacovelli notes that her focus on education delivery methods intensified when one of her husband’s transfers caused the older children to be moved from charter schools to a public high school. Soon thereafter a group of parents, including Jacovelli, transformed it into a charter high school with an Advanced Placement program.

The Multi-lingual language component of LEC came about during Jacovelli’s agency work with the Hispanic populations, along with various Hispanic youth or families who were placed with the Jacovellis. Volunteer work with Turning Point’s Dr. David Jeremiah’s outreach ministries to migrant workers and an orphanage in Mexico kindled a desire to have her younger children learn Spanish.

Jacovelli laughing stated “So I ended up in another project! I found a group of educators and parents that had begun the work of establishing EJE Academies, a dual language immersion charter school in El Cajon, Calif. It was located in a high crime area of mostly Latino and Black minorities, but within a few years it was out performing the public schools yet the children were fluent in math, science and language literacy in two languages.

“The model of requiring primary care giver involvement and innovative curriculum on a great delivery platform produced an amazing result.”

Someday Jacovelli hopes to have full faith based academy as an outgrowth of the LEC, yet is very content laying the groundwork by opening the LEC education facility featuring a cooperative with LOK Fashion Academy to nurture young ladies’ math and creative skills, Multi-Media to create cyber cause warriors, Princess Play, Swiss Family Robinson Engineers, “Cool Chemistry”, the “Fun Physics” and even a sponsored “Coder Dojo” to promote computer language coding for children.

The Leadership Enrichment sessions begin the week of Sept. 9 with Open Houses on Aug. 1, and Aug. 8.
For more information, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (540) 625-2084.

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