Sam Lustgarten, a Colorado State University psychology student, never imagined himself as the type of guy who would start a scholarship fund.
Tragedy can be a motivator.
Lustgarten has spent two years as a residence hall advisor dealing firsthand with suicide and the resulting emotional turmoil of hall residents. To cope with his grief and to draw attention to the issue, the college junior is starting a scholarship for undergraduate psychology students so they can someday help people who suffer from a variety of mental health issues that may even lead to suicide.
So far, he has raised $1,900 to create the Always Remember Never Surrender Mental Health Suicide Scholarship, which includes a donation of $500 from Department of Psychology Undergraduate Fund. The first scholarship will be awarded this fall.
“Some of these people have dealt with issues that are very, very powerful, so I want to bring awareness to this subject,” said Lustgarten, who is 21. “There’s hope for people who are suffering and there’s hope for people who can help these people. We’re always going to remember those who have passed and at the same time, we’re never going to stop fighting for them. Always remember, never surrender.”
All proceeds and donations will be awarded to those who are planning on entering, or are already involved in, public service and mental health fields.
“With education funding cuts, a recession and an increased pressure to excel in college and graduate school, it is Sam’s hope that a scholarship like this might provide support for those students that are pursuing human service professions and making contributions to the community around them,” said Ernie Chavez, chair of the Psychology department.
To contribute to the scholarship, go to https://advancing.colostate.edu/CNS/PSYCH/GIVE or contact Simone Clasen at 491-0997.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please call the 24-hour suicide prevention
lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255).