Kids Experience College Life with Anchor Program

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Turning 18 can be stressful and difficult for kids in the foster care system, but one university is trying to make that transition easier by preparing teenagers for college.

When kids turn 18, they "age out" of the foster care system. Bloomsburg University's anchor program aims to help with this transition period by giving kids in the foster care system a chance to experience college life.

"We eat in the dining hall. We sleep in the residence halls. We have workshops like these with our Bloomsburg faculty and staff," explained Rona Anderson, anchor program coordinator.

"Meeting a lot of new people, opportunities and stuff. Yesterday I met with a lady. She's in the learning part of the school, and she helped us with jobs and stuff," said Zyanna Johnson of Williamsport.

Throughout the one-week program, the kids will learn about financial aid, money management, and do fun things like embroidery and screen printing.

"I am so grateful that this program is actually here and showing people that even if you are in foster care or were in foster care, you can still do great things," said Melodey Simmons of Wilkes-Barre.

"Providing an opportunity like this really allows them to explore what those interests and talents are and to have somebody working at the university see what they're capable of," Anderson added.

Recently the anchor program was gifted more than $2 million, which helps to keep everything free for the kids.

"I'm going to be the first out of all my siblings to go (to college), out of all my family to go. It makes me feel powerful," said Simmons.

The anchor program runs all week at Bloomsburg University.

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