Junior League of Long Beach awards Kirsten Larsen with Helen Newcomb Award

Kirsten Larsen Courtesy photo

Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) awards the Helen D. Newcomb annually to an outstanding member who shows exemplary dedication to volunteerism and community activism. The award is named for Helen Dutton Newcomb, who served as the organization’s first president in 1931, originally founded as the Junior Charity League of Long Beach.
This year’s honoree is Kirsten Larsen, a 33-year JLLB member. In her first year in Long Beach, she helped bring Christmas in April (a nonprofit now known as Rebuilding Together) to the Long Beach community as a Junior League project focusing on helping senior citizens repair and rehabilitate their homes. She continued her involvement with Rebuilding Together lasting nearly 30 years on both the local and national level.

Throughout her JLLB career, she has chaired numerous committees, coordinated key events, served on the Board of Directors as the Community Vice President, and has mentored many Junior League emerging leaders. She currently holds a leadership position as the Sustainer Council Chair.

In addition to her JLLB involvement, she is a strategic development advisor for the Women’s Symposium of Southern California (WSSC), and has sponsored the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Long Beach Branch, inspiring 250 middle school girls to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) opportunities. Since 2018, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Alamitos Heights Improvement Association (AHIA).

A wife and mother, she has a daughter and twin boys who are all now pursuing college degrees. Her twin sons joined Scouting when they were young boys, and both earned the highest level of Eagle Scout. In full support of her children’s endeavors, today she is not only an Assistant Scoutmaster, but also a Patrol Advisor leading a group of Scouts through their scouting career. She has been Executive Secretary on the Board, and currently sits on the Council Board of Directors. She is a registered Merit Badge Counselor, teaching a variety of badges, including citizenship in the community, sustainability, backpacking, hiking, astronomy, weather, pets, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. Kirsten even persuaded her husband Steve to become a snow ski Merit Badge Counselor.

Kirsten and her daughter have volunteered at the spcaLA nonprofit animal welfare shelter for nearly five years, logging over 200 hours helping cats and dogs in need.
As an entrepreneur, for the last 30 years she applied her JLLB training to build and strategically grow Diversified Technical Systems (DTS), a high-tech company that manufactures miniature data recorders and sensors for crash, blast, and injury biomechanics testing. Customers around the world including NASA, SpaceX, GM, Honda, Toyota, Tesla, top universities, and the US Army all rely on DTS solutions for critical testing.
She continues to challenge herself, by learning to speak Japanese, plus she is a vocalist and percussionist for the band Barefoot Rider.

The JLLB will present this prestigious award at their annual meeting and installation of officers on Wednesday, May 24 at Sky Links Golf Course.
The Junior League of Long Beach is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

The Junior League of Long Beach welcomes all women who value their mission. They are committed to inclusive environments of individuals, organizations and communities. For more information, visit www.JLLB.org.