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Empathy in Action: Nick Larsen’s Dedication to Service Honored by the State of Utah

January 30, 2024

Image of Nick Larsen

Nick Larsen did not wait to graduate from BYU before he went forth to serve. As a volunteer with the Refuge Utah, he has made a lasting impact for many who were experiencing challenges. Read more about his story on the website!

When empathy and dedication converge, remarkable stories of service come to light.

Recently, the State of Utah recognized Nick Larsen, a senior in the School of Family Life from Alpine Utah, as one of its 2023 Heart & Hands Award Honorees for his exceptional and significant volunteer service in the state.

The Refuge Utah nominated Larsen for the award due to his ongoing volunteer time as a sexual assault victim advocate for the organization. He often staffs or is on backup for the 24/7 hotline. As part of those responsibilities, Nick joins victims as they go through medical exams and comforts them during the extremely difficult aftermath of sexual assault.

Image of Nick Larsen

Larsen is often on duty on weekends and says, “I can’t think of anything better or more Christlike than supporting someone who has gone through something mind-blowingly horrible on a Sunday. I cannot think of anything that has been more meaningful or sacred than those hospital calls.”

Larsen first became involved with The Refuge Utah through a friend who invited him to volunteer with her. During the past two years, he has learned a tremendous amount about helping others through challenges–specifically the importance of just having a support system.

Larsen has even noticed the impact of having such support in his own life. When there are difficult calls, having supportive friends to talk with has been instrumental for Larsen’s mental health. He hopes to take both lessons into his future career.

Being recognized for his service reminds Larsen how important this work is and that there’s still room for growth. He plans to pursue more education to become a marriage and family therapist with certification for trauma therapy—something completely inspired by his volunteer experiences.

If you are struggling, find resources through the BYU Counseling and Psychological Services site or the Title IX Office.

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