Henry Street Settlement, a New York City social services provider, has announced a $6.24 million gift from the estate of legal secretary and New York City resident Sylvia Bloom, who died in 2016.
The largest single estate gift in the organization's 125-year history will be used to create the Bloom-Margolies Scholarship Fund in Memory of Sylvia Bloom Margolies, Raymond Margolies and Ruth Bloom — memorializing Bloom's husband and sister — in support of Henry Street's Expanded Horizons College Success program. The comprehensive eight-year program supports students from ninth grade through college completion with tutoring, free college counseling, SAT prep, visits to college campuses, and other assistance during their college years. In addition to funding college scholarships, the endowment will enable Henry Street to provide additional resources such as social work support to the mostly first-generation college students in the program.
Another $2 million from the estate will be split between Hunter College, where Bloom finished her college degree at night while working days, and another scholarship fund. Bloom worked full-time as a legal secretary at Cleary Gottlieb for sixty-seven years until her retirement shortly before her death at age 97, quietly amassing more than $9 million by buying the same stock her employer had her purchase on his behalf, only in smaller amounts. Jane Lockshin, Bloom's niece, executor of her estate, and treasurer of the Henry Street board, directed the donation to the organization.
"I was given the discretion to make the donation to an organization that offered educational opportunities to low-income youth," said Lockshin. "Aunt Sylvia, who earned her college degree at night school, always valued education and wanted her estate to benefit those with limited educational opportunities."
"Throughout her extraordinary career, one that mirrored Cleary Gottlieb's growth to a globally renowned firm, Sylvia witnessed and understood the value of education as critical to economic stability and success," said Henry Street executive director David Garza. "It is only fitting that her gift to Henry Street is as spectacular as her career, her consistency, and her character....We will work tirelessly and compassionately to carry out her will and steward the resources with the quality and care that has become synonymous with Henry Street's programmatic standards and fiscal oversight."