Treasure Talk
Caregiving Youth Project Newsletter

Caregiving Youth Projects help identify, recognize, educate and support kids who care for family members. This allows them to achieve success, have fun, make new friends, while promoting academic growth.

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Issue: #6 October 2008
Dear Reader,

  "Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted."

 This quote from Albert Einstein helps us to examine what we are doing with our lives.  It is impossible to measure the ultimate value of your caregiving experiences along your life's journey; however, please know, your caregiving counts!

Connie Siskowski, RN, PhD
Founder and Director of the Caregiving Youth Project
A free event for family caregivers of all ages. 
Come for a little pampering, and learn self-care techniques. Learn about local resources for you and the loved one for whom you care.

Date:       Saturday, Nov. 1
Time:       10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Place:       Hospice by the Sea and Mae Volen Senior Center
             1515-1531 W. Palmetto Park Rd., Boca Raton
             (On West Palmetto Park adjacent to I-95)
             Parking is plentiful.
Activities:  Dozens of exhibits on local resources
             Free health screenings     
             Lunch in the gardens of Hospice by the Sea
             Mini-massage, yoga,Reiki, Healing Touch
             Youth activities: Journaling, building a mosaic
             Door prize

             Limited ADULT day care is available
             by reservation only. Call (866)747-7385

CARE! EXPO is co-hosted by Hospice by the Sea, Mae Volen Senior Center, and Volunteers for the Homebound and Family Caregivers.

Club Treasure enjoys lunch at Bonefish Grill

On October 16th, eleven youth caregivers from Boca Middle School's Club Treasure experienced an educational and interactive dining event at the Bonefish Grill in Boca Raton. "I felt like a princess and was treated like royalty" stated Carla, who also enjoyed dining etiquette tips and
a delicious meal.

According to Jimmy Powell, Bonefish Grill's owner, "It was our privilege to share our dining experience with this very special group of students." Chef Peter added, "We especially enjoyed introducing the group to a new array of foods, including hearts of palm. When I told them they were eating part of a native Florida tree, they were shocked - but pleasantly surprised."
Dianna, Jennifer and the saddle

Dianna, a friend and supporter of CYP, understands how therapeutic riding horses can be. She loves participating in competitions and finds it relaxing after working hard all week at her "real job."

When Dianna heard about Jennifer, a youth caregiver who gave up her horse to help pay bills, she asked, "Does she still ride?"   She was told that the new owners of Jennifer's horse do allow her to ride, however it is difficult because her saddle is old and falling apart. So Dianna offered Jennifer a saddle.  "I bought it in Argentina.   It is a beautiful saddle and I want to give it to someone special," she said. Jennifer found it hard to believe someone could be so kind. She is very excited about riding with her new saddle and is hopeful to see Dianna compete one day.
Planning each month

Each month presents unique opportunities for students to achieve academic success.  For example, when you transition from middle school to high school, choosing courses that will be challenging, but not too difficult, helps ease the transition for the more demanding expectations of high school.

Plan each month with a sense of the rhythm of the school year to make a great difference in being successful.  The UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools calls it the 'yearly rhythm'.  For example,

October:   How is this year going?
                 How are your first quarter grades?
                 Do you need tutoring in any subject?
                 Do you need to see your guidance counselor or       
                 teachers about any questions or concerns?
November: Do you need fine tuning?
                 Do you have all the help you need to succeed in the
                 second quarter?
                 What do you need to finish strong before the
                 winter break?

Youth caregivers, one rhythm that never changes throughout the year is our help.  If you need tutoring or help of any kind, call or email us; let us know what you need.

Dare to dream: Take a test to see!

1. Write the number that best describes what you think
    about your future.
     1 - I can't imagine that I'll ever do anything important or
          really cool.
     3 - I expect that when I grow up I'll have an important
          job and cool hobbies.
     2 - I may grow up to do something important, but it's hard
          to imagine.

2. Count the number of adults you can think of (mom,
    dad, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, teacher,
    and so on) who have told you they think you might do
    something special when you grow up. Write that
    number on your paper.

      1   2   3   4+

3. Write the number that best describes how smart you

     4 - Really smart                             3 - Average
     2 - A little below average               1 - Don't ask
  4. Write the number that best describes how
     independent you are.

     2 - I don't like doing things alone but will sometimes if no
          one else is around.
     3 - I like thinking up things to do on my own.
     1 - I only do things with friends, never alone.

5. Write down the number that best describes how hard
    a worker you are.

     1 - I don't like hard work and try not to.
     3 - I work very hard and stay with it, even when things
          are difficult.
     2 - I work pretty hard but sometimes give up when the
          work is too tough.

6. Write the number that best describes your friends.
     3 - Most of my friends are good students.
     2 - Some of my friends are good students and some are
     1 - Most of my friends are not good students.

What's Your Score?  Total your responses.
If you've been honest with yourself, you've probably answered some questions with 1s, or 2s and others with 3s or 4s. The 3s and 4s are your strengths and the 1s are your weaknesses. (The 2s are somewhere in the middle.) Add up all your scores. If the total is:

18 or above You have a bright future ahead. Your
    confidence will allow you to follow your dreams.
9-17 You may hit a few roadblocks on your way, but if you
    stay on the right track, you'll pull through.
8 or below Dare to dream, you just need to find the right
    direction. Sometimes change is the best option - like             
    changing your attitude,
your activities and/or your friends.

The goal here isn't to have a perfect score. It's to believe in yourself and your ability to learn as you grow. Remember that you can learn from mistakes and that  mistakes present an opportunity for learning new ways to approach life.

See downloads for teens by Freespirit Publishing
October is National Breast Cancer awareness month

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States and is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer). Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men.

It is never too early to prevent breast cancer! There are many ways that you as a teen can start:
  • Don't smoke: Girls who start smoking as teenagers are more likely to get breast cancer later as adults because breast tissue is most vulnerable to cancer-causing chemicals right after puberty. This is when cells are growing rapidly. (Teen Smokers Risk Breast Cancer)
  • Exercise: Exercise in childhood and early teen years lowers body fat and hormone levels. This delays menarche (the first period), which reduces the lifetime risk for breast cancer. (Breast Health by Ann McTieran)
  • Limit junk food: Studies show that a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in unhealthy fats reduces the risk of cancer. (Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right)

"if we have low expectations for
our kids,
they will meet them.  If we
have high
expectations and give them                   
tasks that interest and involve them,
they will meet them."
        - Ellen Berg, Teacher

Millie Barber, MD; Jen Craven