Karrie Schaaf was recently honored by the Minnesota Women of Today with a Women Who Impact Award for her service to the homeless youth and families in the Anoka-Hennepin school district.
Nominated by the Anoka Women of Today, Schaaf received the award and check for $100 which she donated to Hope 4 Youth, a drop-in shelter for youth experiencing homelessness in Anoka County. Hope 4 Youth focuses on housing, outreach, prevention and education. Its goal is to ensure that every youth has access to the range of services needed to grow to be healthy and self-sufficient.
Focusing on the well-being of youth, Schaaf, of Coon Rapids, has been involved with Coon Rapids Youth First, Creating Community, Heading Home Anoka, Anoka County Continuum of Care and currently serves as an advisory member for the Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program.
In 2007, while a teacher with the Learning Alternatives program at Westwood Middle School in Spring Lake Park, Schaaf was nominated for and awarded the Community Heroes Award – Creating Communities of Blaine, Ham Lake, and Spring Lake Park. She was recognized for providing a safe, caring environment for students who feel unsafe going home. She spent time listening to students concerns and provided them with positive, alternative life choices.
During the summer of 2011, Schaaf began working with a counselor at Champlin Park High School on a Back to School event providing backpacks, school supplies, clothing, community resources, and haircuts to students; 181 students participated in this first event. During the summer of 2012, she helped organize the second annual back to school event and expanded it to Coon Rapids High School. Additional services were added, such as food, free cell phone program and wellness checks; over 700 students participated. This year, with Schaaf’s help, the program expanded to three sites, with over 2,100 students participating.
During the 2012-2013 school year, Schaaf was honored with the Above Beyond Award by the Anoka-Hennepin students, staff, parents and community members. The award is given to the employee who consistently goes the extra mile so students can be successful.
“Karrie’s absence of judgment for others and her dedicated work to help families in need is what has impressed us the most about Karrie,” according to the Anoka Women of Today. “She is a woman having a positive impact on the youth in need in our community.”