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 and make new friends, while promoting academic growth.
In This Issue
CYP Name Change
Guy Talk
Holiday Party
UK Carers in 2010
Volunteer with us at CYP
Stress Buster Winners
Free Health Fair
Thick & Thin Red Flag
Daniel C. Recognized
Continuing Care
Pinellas County News
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Name change at CYP - AACY
As of January 1, 2010 our organization, Volunteers for the Homebound & Family Caregivers, has a new name!  It is the American Assosciation of Caregiving Youth (AACY).  The Caregiving Youth Project will continue under AACY as we focus on reaching more youth caregivers in Palm Beach County and beyond.
AACY also has a new mascot - it is the EAGLE!  Stay tuned to our next edition to learn more about Caregiving Youth Eagles - WE SOAR!
Guy Talk
Take time for yourself
Hey everyone and welcome to guy talk!  My name is Justin, and like you, I am also a caregiver.  I have been a caregiver for my mother for almost nine years and in that time I have learned many valuable lessons.  One of the most important things that I have learned is my own limits.  In order to be the best caregiver you can, you need to remember to take time for yourself.  Whether it is going for a walk, listening to your favorite song, or writing in a journal, remember that you are just as important as the person you are caregiving for!
"You need to trust yourself, believe in yourself and, once in a while, put yourself on a pedestal."   ~ Norm Dukes

All the best,

Justin Grossmayer, MSW 
Justin is available at: [email protected]
John is availble at: [email protected]
Holiday Party Was a Huge Success!


Tons of fun and enjoyment for everyone
On December 20, 2009, over 265 youth caregivers and family members celebrated the holidays with the Caregiving Youth Project at Benvenuto in Boynton Beach.
The party was filled with great food, dessert, and crafts for the entire family.
Shown above are Stratis corporate volunteers that collected gifts for one year for caregiving youth to select, wrap and present to their family members. Thank you Stratis!
AACY wishes all of you a healthy and happy holiday season!
UK "Young Carers" arrive in February

We anticipate a time when CYP students can travel to the UK at the end of June (with funding in 2010!) and experience the annual Young Carers Festival.

Meanwhile, in February of 2010, from the 17 - 21, we look forward to meeting a group of young carers arriving from the UK. We plan to welcome them with open arms and open hearts for a few days of respite in the U.S.
They weren't sure they were going to be able to come and then they received the funding they needed to make the trip. Anything is possible!
We can't wait to tell you more!
Lend a Hand
Volunteer at CYP 
Have some extra time on your hands? Know someone who wants to make a difference to the community around them? Our Caregiving Youth Project is looking for volunteers!
If you, or a friend, want to make a positive impact in both a child's life and yours, join us! Volunteer opportunities and schedules vary depending on your needs and skills. An hour of your time can mean the world to a caregiver.
For more information, please contact Kate at the Caregiving Youth Project: (561) 391-7401 or [email protected].

Issue: #20 December 2009
Dear Reader,

Throughout the Holidays, I keep reading many messages about peace.  Yet, there seems to be little actual peace around terrorism issues, the wars, shootings in our community, and perhaps most commonly, words expressing frustrations and disappointments within our own families. In the midst of it all, I found a message written on the inside of the wrapper of a heart healthy dark chocolate.  It said, "Create peace for yourself."  Yes! Personal peace is the only peace within our control!  As a 2010 priority, create internal peace - bust your stress - you can do it!
Connie Siskowski, RN, PhD
Founder and President 
Stress Buster Winners
The 2009 Winners of The CYP's Stress Buster Contest

(photo by Kristen Hepner)
The Caregiving Youth Project would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry! As in years past, an independent panel of judges rated each entry from 1-10, the scores were counted up and the winners at each school were selected. This year there were nine judges! 
Joyce Adhemar - Winner at Congress Middle School; Joyce, age 12, submitted an essay demonstrating her strength with being a caregiver and handling stress. Her sound advice to others is to talk to people and share experiences. Thank you Joyce!
Merna Beshava - Overall Winner of Stress Buster Contest from Palm Springs Middle School; Merna, age 11, entered an amazing essay titled, "How I Reduce My Stress!" Whether it was prioritizing time or hugging friends, Merna shared exceptional stress management. Congratulations Merna!
Mark-Anthony Gibson - Winner at Okeeheelee Middle School; Mark, age 11, wrote an inspirational poem about using religion to help ease his stress and anger. Mark's strength for diffusing his stress is powerful indeed! 
Kristen Hepner - Winner at Lantana Middle School; 
Kristen, age 11, enjoys music.  As her art work shows, she happily plays the French Horn to relieve her stress!  Playing an instrument and drawing - it's great to have and use your talents! Check out her work above!

Kelsey Timot - Winner at Boca Raton Middle School;

Kelsey, age 13, wrote "Crying Helps." It is a moving and touching poem...perhaps one day it could be a song!  Good job Kelsey!
Free Health Fair!
Family Health Carnival, Jan 23, 2010
In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Boca Raton Community Hospital is sponsoring entertainment, food, and free health screenings. For fun, there will be a rock climbing wall, train rides, fire rescue, face painting, and more! Free health screenings for the whole family include:
          - Diabetes blood tests
- Blood pressure, cholesterol, and prostate screenings
          - Pediatric consults
          - Hearing screenings
- Dental screenings for kids and adults
          - Vision screenings
          - Skin cancer screenings
          - Childhood immunizations (but ONLY with child's records)
Translators are available!
The event takes place at:
Florence Fuller Child Development Center East
200 N.E. 14 St.
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Thick & Thin Red Flag
A Guide to Adolescent Depression
"Claire" was diagnosed with depression. A teacher knew she might have depression because she was more irritable than she had been the previous year, she stopped eating, let her grades slip to D's and F's and stopped talking to her friends. Sound familiar?
What do you know about depression? Here are some facts to be aware of:

- More children die from depression related suicide than from any other childhood disorder.
- Depression is a disorder attributed to a chemical imbalance in the brain.
- While depression can occur at anytime across the lifespan, it has a higher occurrence during adolescence.
- 80% of depressed children go undiagnosed and untreated.
- Untreated depression may disappear after 7-9 months, but it is more likely to return in more severe episodes.
In the past, doctors didn't think that children (under the age of 18) could be diagnosed with depression. However, time and research have proved them wrong. Many pre-teens have been depressed and the numbers are growing. Now, that doesn't mean that if you're down because you scored low on a test or you felt like sleeping in one Saturday you're depressed. It's good to be aware of what depression is and if friends, family members, or you, have it.
Thick 'N Thin is a program that helps people under 18 identify and cope with depression. They might have come to your school or you might have seen a DVD from them. Their main focus is knowing what the "Red Flags" are for depression. Such as:
- Frequent headaches
- Significant weight gain/loss
- Changes in sleep
- Skipping school
- Cutting, self-injury
- Substance abuse
- Antisocial behavior
- Poor grooming
- Isolation
If you want to know more about teen depression, symptoms, or general information, check out Thick 'N Thin and these websites:
Get to Know a Fellow Caregiver
Daniel C.from Okeeheelee Middle School
Being young, going to school, and taking care of family members at home is not easy. Daniel C. at Okeeheelee Middle School tries to tackle schoolwork and family life as best as he possibly can. He lives with six other family members and helps his ill feeling mom care for his little sister, carry groceries and carry boxes. Daniel met the Caregiving Youth Project at a Lunch and Learn session in the school cafeteria. He has learned some stress reduction tips that he applies to his life. Sometimes he takes a time-out and sits alone in his room. Other times he goes outside to play or uses his sterss ball.
Daniel is planning to graduate from college and become a lawyer.
The American Association of Caregiving Youth  recognizes Daniel as an outstanding student and a big help to his family.  
Good job Daniel!
News From Continuing Care
In response to many requests, Continuing Care will begin small groups in January at Boca Raton Community High School and Santaluces Community High School. Cristy Kovach Hom, the new Director of Continuing Care, has begun meeting with youth who joined our program while they were in middle school. So far, everyone anticipates reconnecting with us and with their caregiving peers.

Our youth will be working together with us to tailor this program to meet their changing needs now that they have moved on to high school. They have already shared many ways that they would like to continue, network and support each other. Ideas include peer mentoring, online networking, another cooking lesson at Whole Foods, and organizing to help other populations here and abroad.
In February, we look forward to a visit from a group of "young carers" from the UK, ages 15 -20. We plan to welcome them for a few days of respite in the U.S.
For more information on Continuing Care, please contact Cristy at [email protected] or call her at (561) 391-7401.
Shown above are Continuing Care members at the 2009 Holiday Party. 
News from Pinellas County
Many caregivers and their families were helped this holiday season in Pinellas County on the northwest side of Florida. In the new year, they are planning a special outing at the park.
Stay tuned to hear more about our fellow caregivers in Florida!
Quote of the Month
"To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe." 
By: Anatonle France
Mary Jo Tarrien, RN, Health & Education Specialist
Kate Landry, AmeriCorps Member
Laura Poklemba, Assistant Editor
American Association of Caregiving Youth
Caregiving Youth Project of Volunteers for the Homebound & Family Caregivers | Caregiving Youth Project | 1515 North Federal Highway | Suite 214 | Boca Raton | FL | 33432