Introducing the 2024 Buron-Campbell Innovation and Champions for Children Awardees

Every year FamilyWise presents awards to individuals and organizations that are making a difference in the lives of young people and their families. This Spring we celebrate the contributions of one organization and four individuals who are creating ripples of hope and wellbeing in families and communities across Minnesota.

2024 Buron-Campbell Innovation Awardee

The Buron-Campbell award recognizes organizations that help young people faced with adversity build resilience so they can grow up to be healthy, successful adults. This year we were pleased to present the award to Hold Your Horses.

Our staff nominated Hold Your Horses after witnessing the impacts of the organization on young people we both serve. Our high-fidelity wraparound program works in partnership with families to serve youth involved in the criminal justice system. Supports have been lacking for these young people. Hold Your Horses is an amazing organization dedicated to providing effective interventions that help young people achieve wellness and improve the quality of their lives. We have seen young people build trust in themselves and others through their relationships with the horses and human staff at Hold Your Horses.

2024 Champions for Children Awardees

The Champion for Children Award honors individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond in making the world a better place for children. This year we are happy to honor the following individuals as Champions for Children: Richard Coleman, Melodie Hanson, Tammi Johnson, and Shannon Schaaf.

Richard Coleman

Richard has dedicated his career to ensuring that children are safe and that families have the resources they need to thrive. Richard is an incredible mentor and freely shares his knowledge and expertise. He has influenced generations of future social workers. Richard’s direct work with families, as well as his work harnessing education to create better systems, is critical for communities. Thank you to Richard for all that he continues to do for the betterment of Minnesota families.

Melodie Hanson

Melodie is a strong champion of increasing public awareness of NEAR sciences (Neurobiology, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Resilience) across many sectors and among youth in her community. Her input and experience have been critical to our understanding of how FamilyWise can better support our Collaborative partners. Despite having a big job herself, Melodie has always been willing to help to other Collaboratives that want to create change through the More Resilient Minnesota initiative. Thank you, Melodie, for being a Champion for Children!

Tammi Johnson

Tammi has been instrumental in the start and growth of Lutheran Social Services’ Wraparound program in St. Louis County and she is a powerful advocate for youth. Her passion for supporting youth and families in a way that honors their voices is inspiring. Her collaboration and coaching skills support the growth of her team (and so many others within and outside of her organization). For all these reasons and more, we want to recognize Tammi as a Champion for Children.

Shannon Schaaf

As a longtime supporter of FamilyWise’s mission and a generous contributor to our work, Shannon has brought practical expertise, wise consultation, and a myriad of connections through her involvement with our board of directors. Shannon has also supported and mentored new board members and staff. Beyond her partnership with FamilyWise, Shannon been committed to creating supportive communities for individuals and families throughout her career. Thank you, Shannon, for being a force for good in our community.