Kenneth native named 'Outstanding Young Minnesotan'
Kenneth native Carissa (Nieuwboer) Carroll, Shoreview, was recently recognized with a group of young leaders across the state who were named 2016 Outstanding Young Minnesotans.
JCI Minnesota (formerly Minnesota Jaycees) each year acknowledges the accomplishments of young adults who have contributed to the state through their service, thought and influence, community involvement or entrepreneurship.
Carissa was nominated by JCI Lake Elmo for founding Jack’s Basket, which supports families of babies born with Down syndrome.
In 2013 Carissa and Chris’s second son, Jack, was born with Down syndrome, and the couple received Jack’s diagnosis shortly after birth without each other and without support or resources.
Before Jack’s first birthday Carissa was reflecting on a gift to bring to the hospital, and Jack’s Basket was born.
The mission of Jack's Basket is to celebrate every child born with Down syndrome and congratulate their family with gifts, support and resources. Each Jack’s Basket is delivered by a parent volunteer who has been trained in new parent outreach.
Along with delivering baskets to new families, Jack's Basket bridges the gap between families loving their lives raising children with Down syndrome and providers giving the Down syndrome diagnosis.
Connecting new and expectant parents with other parents and providing unbiased, up-to-date information and language affects a family's ability to accept their new journey.
Carissa has spoken to numerous hospitals, conferences, nurses and physicians about Jack’s Basket and her family's diagnosis experience with their son Jack.
Carissa was also a speaker at March for Life in Washington, D.C., in 2015 and the keynote speaker at Ohio Right to Life in April 2016. Sharing the mission that every life is a gift and so much joy can come in the unexpected.
JCI will recognize Carissa and the other honorees at an awards celebration Dec. 3 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Bloomington.