Utah teen awarded scholarship after creating reading room for kids at domestic violence shelter

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DAVIS COUNTY, Utah – After putting more than 100 hours of community service toward creating a reading room for the children at a domestic violence shelter, a Davis High School senior received a very prestigious award for giving back to her community.

Alexis Carlsen is receiving the Prudential Spirit of Community Award and Scholarship for giving back to her community.

Carlsen spent 115 hours creating a reading room, which features 400 books along with bookshelves and blankets, for children staying at the Safe Harbor domestic violence shelter in Kaysville.

“Well I've always had a real big passion for reading, and I really wanted to promote literacy within children," Carlsen said. "And what better place to do that than in a place where children wouldn't necessarily receive that same kind of reading environment that they might in a more privileged home?”

The shelter directors said they are forever grateful for Alexis' dedicated service and contribution, which has helped the center better accomplish something they are constantly striving to do: Make everyone who comes into the shelter feel safe and comfortable.

"When people are leaving a situation in their home, and they are coming to the crisis center, they often come with very little, and so we work hard to have a warm, welcoming, comfortable space for them,” said Kendra Wyckoff, the executive director for Safe Harbor.

Alexis said she truly believes it takes a village to raise a child. She said after receiving so much, she feels it's important to return the favor by helping the next generation.

"I really hope that I can inspire others to take action within the community as well, because there's always a need, there's always things that you can do to change your world,” Carlsen said.

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