Respiratory therapy student inspired by mission experiences during pandemic

OGDEN, Utah — Trent Beutler, sophomore at Weber State University, was far from home when he decided to pursue a career in healthcare.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, 19-year-old Beutler left his home in Farr West, Utah, to start a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was later assigned to Toronto, Canada, where he served the local Spanish-speaking population.

“Suddenly, I was alone with another kid my age, learning to navigate a new place I’d never been to, meet new people and learn new social skills,” Beutler said. 

While challenging, Beutler’s mission was a great learning experience.

“My mission taught me to love and value people for their differences,” Beutler said. “I got to meet people from many different walks of life, and I gained a lot of perspective, and I learned that I want to help people.” 

In Toronto, Beutler met people from all over the world, including many refugees who struggled with various health issues. 

Beutler said it was hard for people to get the care they needed because the pandemic had overwhelmed hospitals and caused healthcare workers to “burn out.”

“Seeing people in these circumstances, I just wanted to do what I could to alleviate those difficulties,” Beutler said.

When Beutler returned home from his mission in the fall of 2022, he started exploring healthcare programs and was impressed by what Weber State offered. 

“I couldn’t pass up Weber State’s affordability and flexibility,” he said. “When you look at the price for the education you get, it’s a really incredible value. I’m also a very family and friend-focused person and Weber State has really let me focus on that.”

Weber’s respiratory therapy program stuck out to Beutler, who grew up with asthma. He’s recently been accepted into the program and will start this spring. His ultimate goal is to be a physician assistant specializing in pulmonology.



Cade Lindhardt, Marketing & Communications


Bryan Magaña, public relations director