Treasure Talk
Caregiving Youth Project Newsletter
The Caregiving Youth Project helps identify, recognize, educate and support students who care for ill, injured, elderly, or disabled family members. This allows caregiving youth to achieve success, have fun and make new friends, while promoting academic growth.
In This Issue
Guy Talk
Internet and Social Media
Sand Sifters May
Take 25
Caregiver Support Line
Austin's Camp Building Bridges
FREE Homework Help
Update Your Contact Info
Everglades Afternoon
Double Dose of Caring
Continuing Care News
Cancer Information
La Bayadere Boca Ballet
Fred Galland
Dr. Connie
Florida Marlins Game
Summer Youth College
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Dear Reader,
Whew! FCATs are finished - take a few good deep breaths!  We hope that your CYP Stress Survival Kit was helpful - know we were thinking about you!  
There are only a few more weeks of school this year! How are your summer plans coming along? We hope you will be able to take some time for fun. How about trying something new? Or maybe do or learn something that you've been putting off... 
I once bought a card that said, "Never put off 'til tomorrow what you can do might find you enjoy it. Then, if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow!"
As Nike says, "Just do it!"
Take good care...and enjoy!


Connie Siskowski, RN, Ph.D. Founder and President 


Hey Everyone!!



I want to spend this blog talking about the value of a good friend. Before we do this, I want you to think of one of your close friends and how he or she helped make your life better. Friends are special because they are the people you choose to invite into your life.


A good friend can be extremely important to your success as a person. Being caregivers, we are in a world that those who are not caregivers may not understand. Our daily chores maybe more extreme or require us to grow up faster than our friends. While it is important to have friends who are caregivers - they understand - it is also equally important to have friends that are not. 


Remember to take time each day for yourself; you are worth it!


All the best,
Justin Grossmayer, MSW



by Nelson Barquet


"Things are seldom what they seem."

(William S. Gilbert, 1836-1911)


Nearly twenty-five years have passed since I was first introduced to Sir William's cautionary and somewhat wistful quote. Although I learned of it early in my graduate study of the mass media, it remains one of the most pertinent pieces of wisdom I've ever encountered, often in ways I hadn't anticipated. Here's a telling example, starting with the back-story:

To read the entire story, click here: The Internet and Social Media
Join the Sand Sifters for Our Monthly Beach Cleanup at Oceanfront Park. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011
6415 N. Ocean Blvd. (A1A)
Ocean Ridge, Fl. Just north of the Ocean Avenue Bridge. 
Sign In: 8:00 am
Event Ends: 10:15 am
Meet at the Pavilion in the Lower Parking Lot.
Community Service Hours Awarded.

Visit the Website:

Pre-register by calling (561) 734-9128.


On Saturday, May 14th, the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children have partnered with The Salvation Army Northwest Community Center to promote the Take 25 campaign in West Palm Beach.


Take 25 is a national child safety campaign that encourages parents to take 25 minutes out of their day to talk to their children about safety.


The community safety event will be held from 10:00 to 2:00 pm at 600 N. Rosemary Avenue in West Palm Beach.


To learn more, click:

Take 25


Caregivers are the family members and loved ones who provide care for Veterans who are living with the effects of war, disability, chronic illness, or aging. They deserve VA's highest level of support. On February 1, 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)  opened a toll-free National Caregiver Support Line housed at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center campus in Canandaigua, New York. The support line will serve as a primary resource/referral center to assist caregivers, Veterans and others seeking caregiver information to help in the care of our Nation's Veterans. Calls to The National Caregiver Support Line will be answered by VA employees who are licensed clinical social workers.


The National Caregiver Support Line will be open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The National Caregiver Support Line Toll-Free number is 1-855-260-3274.


Please also see VA's updated caregiver website: Click Here



Are you caring for someone with dementia? This summer during the week of June 19-25, 2011, Camp Building Bridges in New Life Ranch, Colcord, Oklahoma is hosting their next camp for teenagers who care for someone with dementia/Alzheimer's.


Limited scholarships are available. Please visit the Alzheimer's Association website for more information.



Need help with homework? Try one of these!


1. Homework Hotline 1-800-548-0245 (M-F; 5-7 PM)


2. Palm Beach Schools FREE Homework Hotline:

561-640-5042, 561-688-5303, 561-688-5304, 1-800-548-0245

Help available in English, Creole and Spanish.

Palm Beach Schools website


3. Palm Beach County Library System live homework help (with valid library card number): PBC Library

You can also call our office at 561-391-7401 to help you find other resources for homework assistance!  



Tell CYP today!
Have you recently changed where you live or phone number? Help CYP find you!

Let us know via email or telephone if you have a new address or phone number. We will update our files so we can stay in touch with you about upcoming events and functions!

Call 561-391-7401 or email [email protected].

Issue: #36 April 2011

The Everglades Group

Heavy storm predictions did not stop CYP students from visiting the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge on March 31 in west Boynton Beach. 


Youth caregivers took a tour of the marsh and swamp wetlands in the Florida Everglades. Out in the marsh, the group saw and sometimes were able to touch butterflies, crickets, alligators, ducks, birds, and turtles.


"I have never seen so many creatures in one place," stated Ms. Lissa.


Youth were also taken on a simulated air boat ride. Thanks to everyone who made the day enjoyable!   

Snake skin after the moulting process



by Yvonne Berrios

Everyone has a talent. Some may be able to sing, dance, play an instrument, paint, or write stories. Others may be talented at cooking, playing sports, or playing video games. Yet others may be talented at spending time with others, or listening to and comforting people. When we use our talents, we feel joy and a sense of satisfaction. 


Twin sisters Lindsay & Nina

Twin sisters Nina and Lindsay are caregiving youth. Since age 4 they have been singing and dancing. Every week you can find them at the nursing home where their Grandma Jean lives, performing songs and dances they choreographed. By sharing their talents, Nina and Lindsay bring great joy to Grandma Jean and all of the residents. 


But it doesn't end there! The girls came up with another idea about how they could use a talent to bring others enjoyment. After learning to cook healthy meals at a CYP Whole Foods Event, they were each given a Crock Pot from Jarden Consumer Solutions to take home. The girls simultaneously came up with the idea to give one of them to the nursing home so they could cook a meal for Grandma Jean and the other residents.


When asked how they feel CYP has helped them Lindsay replied, "It makes you feel like you are not alone." Nina said, "It helps to talk and share your feelings with others in group." 

NEWS From Continuing Care

Summer is almost here! We will definitely have another beach party this year.


Did you know that colleges want to know about your family obligations? That's right. Colleges who require resumes and essays want to know what you are doing at home to help your family. Your ability to juggle responsibilities at home and at school shows adults that you are reliable, dependable and mature. Make sure you give yourself the credit you deserve by sharing aspects of your caregiving experience. (Of course, please only share something that you are comfortable with others knowing.)


We are here to help you with resumes and college entrance essays. Just call, email or "Facebook" us.


In-School Groups 


At Atlantic High, College Bound Coach, Ms. Duncan, spoke to us about college admissions and financial aid. She shared with us her own story of being a youth caregiver and how it shaped her life. She helped students identify at least one teacher, coach or guidance counselor to whom they can reach for help. Remember, it's not good to deal with your stress alone.


In May, at Atlantic High, Ms. Lissa will be back by popular demand.


In May, we will have our final lunch time group for the school year.


May's continuing care groups are as follows:

Tuesday, May 3: Boca High 9th and 10th

Wednesday, May 4: South Tech Academy

Tuesday, May 10: Lake Worth High

Wednesday, May 11: Boynton Beach High

Tuesday, May 17: Boca High 11th and 12th

Wednesday, May 18: Atlantic High

Wednesday, May 18: Boca High 9th with Ms. Carole

Wednesday, May 25: Santaluces High


On April 27, we began monthly in-school lunch groups at Santaluces Community High.



by Celia Mouyal, CYP Americorps Member

Most of us know someone whose life has been changed by cancer. There are more than 100 different types of cancer, a disease characterized by abnormal cells which grow out of control and can invade other tissues. In a healthy person, damaged and old cells die while new cells grow and divide when they are needed. Cells become cancerous when DNA is damaged and this process does not occur in a controlled way. A cell can inherit damaged DNA, or DNA can be damaged by environmental causes such as smoking. 


Some general signs and symptoms of cancer include unexplained weight loss, fatigue, fever, pain and skin changes. Blood tests, X-rays, CT scans and tumor biopsies can all be used to diagnose cancer. Treatment options will depend on the type of cancer and stage, but often include surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.      


Lifestyle factors can significantly affect cancer risks. Avoiding tobacco and alcohol, eating healthy, staying physically active and protecting yourself from sun exposure can reduce your risks of developing cancer. Early detection and treatment is the best way to beat cancer, so please see your doctor as soon as you have any concerns. 


For more information, visit the American Cancer Society:



At the show 

Caregiving Youth attended the La Bayadere Ballet  Dress Rehearsal on Friday, April 15th at the Performing Arts Theater at Olympic Heights High School.


Jane Guin from Boca Ballet explained the storyline. CYP were also taken to meet the dancers, see their beautiful costumes, and take a peak at the backstage activity.


After the show, Aeronna D. stated, "I want to take ballet lessons!" 


CYP with the ballerinas


Do you know that volunteers are a GREAT help to us at CYP??


You may have met a few of our volunteers at different events: Jessica, Erica, Yvonne, Adleen, Cliff, Eddie, Kim, Howard, or Nelson. They take time out of their days to make fun events possible! One of the many ways CYP is able to provide you with support is by asking volunteers to help with transportation. Volunteers donate their time and travel

Volunteers/students Jessica & Yvonne 

expenses, including gas for their cars.


Other volunteer opportunities include:

  • Community outreach
  • Fundraising
  • Mentoring
  • Office work
  • Social networking
  • Tutoring
  • Writing articles 

"Being a youth caregiver was one of the formative experiences of my life. It shapes my perspective on almost all things, for good, and regrettably, sometimes for bad. Volunteering with CYP has helped me turn even the traumatizing aspects of that experience to some positive benefit, both for me, and for the kids we support. It has been one of the most rewarding endeavors I've ever been a part of, and an experience I am deeply grateful for," states volunteer Nelson Barquet.


We are constantly looking for volunteers. An hour of your time can make a difference to a caregiver. Community service hours are earned. Call us today to help!! Please contact Summer in the CYP office: (561) 391-7401 or [email protected].


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our Board Chair, Fred Galland. Fred died on March 31, 2011, after a brief battle with cancer. 

Fred volunteered on our Board for more than 10 years, getting involved when the organization was dedicated to serving homebound individuals and their family caregivers within our community. He then championed with CYP and caregiving youth sharing their stories with others and advocating on their behalf.

A scholarship in his name, the Fred Galland Caregiving Youth Scholarship, will be awarded to a graduating senior who has been active in the Caregiving Youth Project.   

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of his family. His legacy will live on. 

Behind every organization, there is a key person who leads the way. At AACY, we have to thank Dr. Connie Siskowski, President and Founder, who spearheads efforts to help youth caregivers and their families.


Dr. Connie is originally a Jersey girl who moved to Florida in 1990. She also lived in Maryland, North Carolina & Tennessee. She went to nursing school at Johns Hopkins University, received a Masters Degree at New York University and a Doctorate Degree at Lynn University.


She has an extensive background in nursing with a specialty as a cardiac nurse. Her experience in the healthcare industry has brought her to where she is today - here with us at AACY!


She ran a cardiac rehabilitation program for over five years, did hospital and nursing home administration, was a hospice and home care nurse, taught paramedics, did consulting and also started a company named MD to YOU that did physician house calls. She also worked for a company that was serving family members in long term insurance claims. It was here that she met Suzanne Mintz, CoFounder of the National Family Caregivers Association and has volunteered for more than a decade to help family caregivers of all ages.


While at Lynn University, her research in Palm Beach County documented the effect of caregiving on student's academic success. Dr. Connie felt compelled to do something about it. The non-profit organization she previously founded in 1998 is now AACY. 


Dr. Connie with husband Gary and granddaughter Clare 

Dr. Connie enjoys walks on the beach, sunshine on her shoulders, hugs from the people she loves, and seeing results of AACY's hard work. 


As for her future, "God only knows! This whole journey has been a walk in faith . . . stay tuned!"


Dr. Connie advises CYP students to be authentic . . . protect your health . . . stay safe in every aspect of your life . . . dig deep to stay strong and make the right choices that will make you and your family proud!


You can call Dr. Connie in the office at 561-391-7401, email her at [email protected], or message her on Facebook.   



It was a fun evening at the Florida Marlins vs. the Colorado Rockies game on Friday, April 22nd.  

CYP volunteers at the Marlins game

AACY staff and volunteers drove down to Miami to speak with baseball enthusiasts about youth caregivers and the struggles faced on a daily basis. Volunteers also sold tickets for a 50/50 drawing for AACY and the Florida Marlins Foundation.


The game ended with the Florida Marlins winning 4-1 to the Rockies. Go Marlins! 


Stay tuned for more baseball fun! There will be another Marlins game on July 4, 2011.



Registration has begun for Summer Youth College (SYC). SYC starts June 20th and ends on July 28th.


Each class is 2 hours long, once a week, for 6 weeks at $69/ class for students ages 8-14 with a variety of classes available. 


Some of the classes are: acting, animation, art, basketball, brain games, bugs, careers, China, clay creations, computers, dancing, drawing, drums, flag football, genetics, Israel, karate, kick boxing, magic, math games, ping pong, recorders, science, soccer, space, tumbling, volcanoes, web design, and young entrepreneurs. 


SYC Interns (ages 15-17) learn many leadership skills and can earn community service hours.  If you can work at SYC one day a week from 8:30 to 4:30, earning 8 hours of Community Service x six weeks, you would earn 48 hours of Community Service this summer!  Email your letter explaining WHY you want to be an SYC intern, your positive character strengths and the times you are available to [email protected].


For more information, contact:

Mary Jo @ 561-391-7401, [email protected]

or Elke Schmidt @ 561-862-4728, [email protected] 




"When one door of happiness closes, another opens: but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."

~ Helen Keller

Don't forget Mother's Day on May 8!
Laura Poklemba, Editor
Mary Jo Tarrien, RN, Health & Education Specialist
American Association of Caregiving Youth 

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Caregiving Youth Project | American Association of Caregiving Youth - AACY | 1515 North Federal Highway | Suite 214 | Boca Raton | FL | 33432