Colorado State University Psychology Student Helps Create Endowed Scholarship for Others Studying Mental Health Issues

Note to Reporters: A photo of Sam Lustgarten is available with the news release at

In April 2010, Sam Lustgarten, a Colorado State University senior psychology student, founded the Always Remember Never Surrender Scholarship to benefit students interested in mental health and suicide prevention. The scholarship was established after Lustgarten dealt with suicide while he was a residence hall assistant at CSU.

Just over a year later, due to the generosity of many, the scholarship is now fully endowed at more than $25,000. An endowed fund is one that is available in perpetuity with only the interest used to pay scholarships.

Student Brittnee Vagneur was the first to receive the scholarship in the 2010-2011 school year when the scholarship was brand new. For 2011-2012, the scholarship was awarded to Jennifer Vazzano. In their scholarship applications, both students conveyed interest in working with populations suffering from suicidal thoughts.

For his effort and initiative, Lustgarten was awarded an honorable mention from the Jed Foundation for the Jerry Greenspan Student Voice of Mental Health Award.

“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 now in his first year of graduate school at CSU. “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.”

The dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Jan Nerger, has been a key supporter of the scholarship since the beginning.

“We had a Poudre High School student generously raise $4,000,” Lustgarten said. “When Jan was notified of the student’s fundraiser – even before knowing the total – she jumped at the opportunity to help.” Nerger matched the donation to further help the scholarship flourish.

To contribute to the scholarship, go to or contact Simone Clasen at (970) 491-0997.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, call the 24-hour suicide prevention
lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255).