Outstanding School of Social Work grad beat the odds with positivity and support

Lara ArndtBefore attending Colorado State University, Lara Arndt transferred from community college, where she thought she was not a good student due to previous academic performance. Fast forward to 2021, and Arndt is being honored by the College of Health and Human Sciences as an outstanding grad from the School of Social Work.

A full-time single parent, Arndt felt anxious about making the transition from community college to the university. She has overcome obstacles to graduate, including taking classes virtually with a young child at home. Throughout her college career, Arndt participated in Project Self-Sufficiency, an organization that supports single parents attending college. Through Project-Self-Sufficiency, Arndt received a scholarship for childcare, giving her the ability to volunteer and focus on her course work.

“Every single professor I have had in the School of Social Work has been more than supportive,” Arndt said. “I could always count on them to chat, listen or help me find a solution to my problem.” The relationships she has created since becoming a Ram will stay within her heart forever.

Lara Arndt with a sweatshirt that reads "Legalize being black"
Arndt stands in solidarity as an ally to marginalized groups.

Proud accomplishments

Arndt was also engaged in the community. during the 2020 winter break, she volunteered at Red Trail Ponds, a permanent supportive housing program for people experiencing homelessness.

“The social work professors and field instructors put their work and students first,” she said.

Social Work Instructor Kristen Mooney spoke highly of Arndt’s class participation, noting she gave numerous insights that linked content to the broader context and was highly engaged. Brenda Miles, the Bachelor of Social Work program director said she has demonstrated a real commitment to learning and achieving good grades in school.

Reflecting and looking ahead

Arndt said she would miss how kind everyone is at CSU, but isn’t done with the School of Social Work quite yet. She has been accepted to the Master of Social Work program. Her family, her chosen family, neighbors, and friends have been extremely supportive throughout her entire education.

“I am so excited to continue my education,” she exclaimed.

The School of Social Work is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.