Carly Lantz found Oaklawn at just the right time. She was 27 years old and had enrolled at IUSB to finish her undergrad. She was a single parent to two kids and had recently moved back to Goshen after working as a waitress and bartender in Chicago.
“I figured out that as a mom, I needed to have a stronger career path,” she said. “I really needed to get some degrees to support us all.”
While in school, she took a job working PRN (as needed) as a mental health technician in Oaklawn’s residential youth program, not knowing then how much it would influence her life.
“I would watch the kids be discharged and see the improvements they made and how they could help each other,” Carly remembers. “I was really impressed by the kids and I knew that was who I wanted to help.”
IUSB had just introduced their Bachelor of Social Work when it was time to declare her major, and she knew it was the right fit. During her four years of undergrad, Oaklawn’s residential program moved to Mishawaka, and she transferred to working with inpatient adults in Goshen to be closer to home. After graduating, she went straight into the Master of Social Work program and completed her internship with Oaklawn before graduating this summer.
Today, Carly is a Child and Adolescent therapist in Goshen, seeing kids ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers. So far, the greatest challenge she’s experienced are the many barriers families face to receiving treatment, but watching her clients make progress, address their past and heal from trauma is tremendously rewarding. Working at a community mental health center helps make that possible.
“We provide so many different services, we can wrap around the whole family,” she said. “There have been times when I’m doing an intake for a child that I’m able to tell the parent that we have services for them, too, and they can get help, too, which is awesome.
“The other thing that I’ve really enjoyed about being at Oaklawn is that there are so many ways you can move up or move around,” she said. “You can find your place doing work you want to do and that you’re good at.”