Larson was a 1999 graduate of Fort Scott High School. Following high school, she attended Fort Scott Community College and transferred to Pittsburg State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in biology and a master's degree in clinical psychology in 2003 and 2005, respectively. After completing her master's, she worked as an outpatient therapist at the Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center, based in Fort Scott. She later moved to Norman, Okla., to attend the University of Oklahoma's Ph.D. program in counseling psychology. She most recently completed her dissertation, titled "An Experimental Study of the Relations Between Well-Being and Gratitude in Community Dwelling Older Adults." This followed a year-long internship at the University of Memphis where she worked with students at the university counseling and testing center. Larson is the daughter of Brenda Yoos Larson, and Curtis Larson and wife Cindy, sister of the late Corey Larson, aunt of Madi Larson, and granddaughter of Bill and Carole Yoos, as well as Grace and the late Swede Larson. Following graduation, Larson plans to seek employment at an outpatient mental health center.