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
AACY Kick-Off Reception
Caregiving Youth Research
Guy Talk
UK Carers to Arrive
Volunteer with us at AACY
AACY is Here to Help
Eagle Mascot Contest
Eagle Story
Caring for Yourself
Continuing Care
Project Linus
Become a Guest Writer for TT
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
AACY Kick-Off Reception
In celebration of our new organization name American Association of Caregiving Youth, a Kick-Off Reception will be held on February 4, 2010 in Boca Raton.
Eighteen youth caregivers will be receiving Courage Awards along with autographed books from famous author Frank McKinney.
Stay tuned for highlights and photos from the event!

Frank McKinney recently held a fundraiser to raise money for Haiti relief. Click here to read the article. We are honored to have him participate in our kick-off event!
New studies on Caregiving Youth
AACY is collaborating with graduate students and researchers from around the US including:
Texas Woman's University in TX, Stanford University in CA and Brandeis University in MA. 
Stay tuned for new data and documentaries on the effects of youth caregivers.
Guy Talk
Get Unstuffed
Welcome back to Guy Talk....!!!


Have you become good at "stuffing?"


What is stuffing?  It is packing and storing one stress emotion after another and not allowing them to get out. 


It is something guys often do, whether or not we are a caregiver. Then we burst out or do something stupid.  Or we get sick ourselves.


As caregivers, many of us undergo a great deal of stress not only at school but also at home.


Think about what can you do to get unstuffed. What you can do to turn a negative into a positive.


Physical activity, playing an active sport, spending time with friends or with other caregivers on our website are each great stress reducers! 


Stuffing can hold you back from being the best you can be...can hold you back from soaring!  It's important that you let someone know what you are feeling and why you are feeling it...Talk it out with John or Justin at CYP! Get unstuffed!  


All the best,

John Allison, MS 
John is available at: [email protected]
Justin is available at: [email protected]
UK "Young Carers" arrive in February!

Six young carers from Oxford in the UK will be with us from February 17th - 21st. We plan to welcome them with open arms and open hearts for a few days of respite in the U.S.

The carers will help advocate and bring awareness to the Palm Beach area about youth caregiving. They will be meeting with several elected officials or their representatives, having lunch at Palm Healthcare Pavilion and speaking via a conference call with caregiving leaders in New York!

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.
Lend a Hand
Volunteer at CYP 
Have some extra time on your hands Reader? Know someone who wants to make a difference for a child and 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: #21 January 2010
Dear Reader,

Do you remember the story of the "little engine that could"?  As he struggles and puffs up a steep hill, he says, "I think I can, I think I can" -- he knows he needs to get his train over the hill.  In the Fall of 2006 as the first US Caregiving Youth Project was beginning, we were like that little engine!  As we begin to come down the other side of the hill, we are able to say, "We thought we could, we thought we could..."  We now have a new challenging huge hill of developing AACY.  Once again we are that little engine fueled by the desire for many more kids all over our country to benefit and grow up feeling supported, healthy, strong and able to soar!   
Connie Siskowski, RN, Ph.D.
Founder and President
AACY is Here to Help
This edition comes with many ongoing thoughts and continued prayers for Caregiving Youth and their families as well as our team members who are from Haiti, as together we work through this national tragedy. Please email me directly [email protected] or call Ms. Karen or myself (561-391-7401) if you or your family needs to have some special support during this difficult time.
Connie Siskowski, RN, Ph.D.
Founder and President
Help Caregiving Youth Soar!
Create an Eagle who will become our mascot!
Caregiving Youth needs your help! Anyone 18 years of age or younger is welcome to enter! The winning eagle with your signature will be displayed on t-shirts, the AACY websites and more!

The winner will receive a $100 mall gift certificate, a feature in Treasure Talk and the first CYP T-shirt with your drawing on it!

  • The eagle must be flying!
  • Entry must be on 8" x 11" sized paper
  • Create your eagle using any media - paint, crayons, graphite, watercolor, anything!
  • Sign your entry to indicate it is your original

To enter:
You can mail your drawings to us (make sure it stays flat without creases), submit your drawing at Lunch N Learn table, or email as an attachment!

Mailing address:
Dr. Connie Siskowski
1515 N. Federal Hwy, Suite 214
Boca Raton, FL 33432

Email address:
[email protected]

Deadline is February 26, 2010!!

How the Eagle Became Our Mascot
The most important of all our perceptions is the way we identify ourselves.  An American Indian folklore story illustrates this truth very clearly.  According to the legend, an Indian brave came upon an eagle's egg which had somehow fallen unbroken from its nest.  Unable to find the nest, the brave put the egg in the nest of a prairie chicken, where it was hatched by the mother hen. 
The baby eagle saw the world for the first time.  He looked at his "brother" prairie chickens and did what they did.  He crawled and scratched at the earth, pecked here and there for stray grains and husks, now and then flapped his wings and rose a few feet above the earth and then descended again.  He accepted and imitated the daily routine of the earthbound prairie chickens.  And he spent most of his life this way.
Then, one day an eagle flew over the brood of prairie chickens.  The now aging eagle, who still thought he was a prairie chicken, looked up in admiration as the great bird soared through the skies.  "What is that?" he gasped in astonishment.  One of the adult prairie chickens replied, "I have seen one before.  That is the eagle, the proudest, strongest, and most magnificent of all the birds.  But don't you ever dream that you could be like that.  You're like the rest of us and we are prairie chickens." 
And so, limited by this belief, the eagle lived his whole life thinking he was a prairie chicken.
Our lives are shaped by the way we perceive ourselves.  The all-important attitudes by which we identify and evaluate ourselves tell us who we are.  In the story the eagle never realized that he had the ability to be the proudest, strongest and most magnificent of all the birds.  Instead, he thought that he was a prairie chicken and could never really fly.  He never realized how great he was.
Caregiving Youth are eagles!  We each have the ability to fly, to soar and to see our dreams come true; to be magnificent, like eagles.
Learn About Caring for Yourself... From a Comic Book Website!!
The CDC Helps Explain Your Body and Mind Connection

When you take good care of yourself, you are better prepared in school as well as to care for your family members! BAM is a website that explains how to deal with stress, study better, not get sick and how to be active! Developed by adults at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this website is just for kids! And, get this, it is designed by a comic book creator! So it looks awesome too!

You might already be familiar with BAM! The Caregiving Youth Project is a huge fan of BAM and we use their tips in our classes!

BAM has games, quizzes and other interactive ways to make learning about how physical and mental health FUN.

To check it out, click here for Have fun!
Photo shown above is from website.

News From Continuing Care

As promised, Continuing Care is beginning in-school groups this month.

Our first group with Boca High's 9th graders was Tuesday, January 16 during lunch.

Atlantic High School's Continuing Care group will meet Tuesday, February 2 at 9 am.

Boca High's 10th and 11th graders will meet again Tuesday, February 9 at lunch.

Don't worry, we will call to remind you! And your school will send for you.


In February, we hope to be in more high schools, but because we can't be at every one, we will schedule out of school activities as well.


This month, we are beginning to connect online through Facebook, so if you are a CYP high school youth, expect a "friend request" from us!  Online communication is a good way for us all to support each other in the midst of busy life.


If you are in high school and you haven't talked with us yet, please contact Cristy at [email protected] or call her at (561) 391-7401.


Project Linus
It's Yours to Keep Forever
by Soni Uhler

Linus has a blanket that's all his very own.
It comforts and sustains him when he's feeling quite alone.
He knows that others love him for 'twas made with special care
And because it means so much to him, it's carried everywhere.

You too can have a blanket that's created just for you,
To comfort and support you when you're feeling rather blue.
It's yours to keep forever, so you may always know
That others out there love you and to you our wishes go.
A few weeks ago, 50 students from Okeheelee Middle School and Palm Springs Middle School were fortunate enough to receive handmade blankets from Project Linus.
Project Linus is a non-profit organization comprised of women who donate time and skills to make special needs blankets for children all over the country.
Visit for more information on the organization.
Photo shown above is John Allison with Guetta V. from Palm Springs Middle School receiving a blanket from Project Linus.
Write for Treasure Talk
Become Published in Treasure Talk
Would you like to write an article for Treasure Talk? Would you like to share something in our newsletter?
Treasure Talk is looking for guest writers for our upcoming editions. You can publish stories, poems or comments that can help other caregivers like you!
Please email [email protected] today if you are interested!
Quote of the Month
"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend."
By: Martin Luther King Jr.
Mary Jo Tarrien, RN, Health & Education Specialist
Kate Landry, AmeriCorps Member
Laura Poklemba, Assistant Editor
American Association of Caregiving Youth
American Association of Caregiving Youth - AACY | Caregiving Youth Project | 1515 North Federal Highway | Suite 214 | Boca Raton | FL | 33432