BLOOMSBURG – A $2.2 million gift will provide youth from the Pennsylvania foster care system with the opportunity to explore educational experiences on the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania campus.
The gift comes from the estate of Easton native Mitzi Marie Bryfogle, who designated in her will a portion of her estate to help a public university. Her son Eric Bryfogle, executor of the estate, felt the Anchor Program at Bloomsburg University was the most deserving initiative.
“This gift means so much to the children who will benefit from the Anchor Program,” said BU President Bashar W. Hanna. “It is the generosity of donors like the Bryfogle family that can make all the difference to a child in the foster care system. This gift secures the future of this promising program here at Bloomsburg University and will go a long way in helping us to create a model for other universities to provide similar experiences.”
The Anchor Program gives children in the foster care system, ages 15-18, a chance to explore their academic interests and talents through a multi-year summer residential college life experience program and year-round mentorship opportunities. Since its inaugural session in the summer of 2017, the program has benefited nearly 80 teens from more than 10 counties, including Columbia, Luzerne, Northumberland and Schuylkill.
“I am just so happy to be able to help these children by exposing them to experiences they likely would not otherwise have access to,” said Eric Bryfogle. “Life can be challenging for children who grow up at a disadvantage, and programs like this can make such a difference. I know my mother would be proud to support it.”
According to James Brown, dean of Bloomsburg’s College of Liberal Arts, operation costs for the Anchor Program can range from $30,000 to $40,000 each year. “We are eternally grateful to the Bryfogles for this incredible gift,” said Brown. “Not only does it give us the peace of mind that comes with knowing we can offer this service for years to come at no cost to these students, but now we can also explore expanding our outreach to more children in additional counties.”
“Though the initial contribution from Mr. Bryfogle is $900,000, the gift is structured to provide ongoing support for the next 20, years valuing the gift at $2.2 million for both the Anchor program and scholarships,” said Jerome Dvorak, executive director of the Bloomsburg University Foundation.
The Bloomsburg University Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization that serves as the fundraising arm of Bloomsburg University, providing opportunities and financial resources in support of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and its students.