Caitlin Lazaro was raised in a single parent household with her brother and sister. Her mother was disabled and unable to work, which left welfare as the only source of income for her family. As a result of her socio economic status growing up, she did not have access to many opportunities and had a difficult time maintaining friendships with peers because her family moved around a lot.
“As a child, school was like a safe haven,” says Lazaro, “I had been very gifted academically, and excelled in nearly every subject. Despite this, I experienced some significant hardships and trauma throughout my childhood, which led to a teenage pregnancy and problems with addiction in my early adult years. For many years after graduating high school, I struggled with maintaining living on my own, while raising a child.”
Eventually Lazaro managed to gain some stability, and resumed school in the spring of 2018. When she first began at Mendocino College, she did not know what profession she wanted to pursue as a career, but knew that she wanted to study music due to its significant influence throughout her life. “I often depended on music to get me through difficult times and through difficult emotional upheavals, so when I had written a research essay on the benefits and applications of Music Therapy for English 200 in Spring semester of 2018, it became clear to me that I wanted to pursue a career in Music Therapy,” said Lazaro.
In the spring of 2021, Lazaro obtained an Associate’s Degree for Transfer (AAT) in Psychology from Mendocino College. She plans to finish her AAT in Music at Mendocino College and then hopes to transfer to a 4-year university, to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy and Composition. “Ultimately, it is my dream to study abroad in Europe for my Masters and Doctoral degrees in these fields so that I may someday be able to assist others in their healing processes through the application of musical therapeutic interventions,” says Lazaro.
“I am incredibly grateful to my spouse, who has been my primary source of support and encouragement throughout my time as a student at Mendocino College, as well as our four amazing children,” says Lazaro. “With the help of my family and the wonderful staff at Mendocino College, I have gained a sense of stability and self-confidence I never knew as a child. It is truly to them that I owe my accomplishments and overall success.”