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
Continuing Care
Middle School Updates
Caregiving Tips
In Her Own Words
Quick Links
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Hattie Parker, MS Ed brings the AACY staff skills gained from a diverse and eclectic professional background. Most relevant to her role as Volunteer Manager for AACY, she was formerly the director of a volunteer parent program. That program, once established with grant funding, successfully continued for 10 years. As Director of Family and Children's Services of the YWCA she collaborated in creating programs designed to lighten the challenges of modern day family life. Hattie, works part time for AACY and additionally offers services as an Empowerment Coach focusing on Self-Care. Hattie believes in the adage: "Teach what you need to learn" and recognizes that keeping it "together" in our busy fast-paced world requires a good perspective and effective skills for taking good care of yourself.

Often though the first bloom to be seen is a dandelion :) Dandelions first came from Asia, and now calls the entire world home. I can be used both as a food and a medicine and the seeds provide and important food to many small birds.  

Baby birds learn to sing. Baby birds are born with the ability to sing, but they must learn the specific songs of their species. They are thought to acquire these songs between 10 to 60 days of age and begin to sing them the next spring when they have matured at about 300 days old.


Seasonal allergies in the spring are a problem for 30-60 million in the U.S. alone. The culprits are often pollen, including tree pollen, and mold. 

Animals wake from hibernation and are seen more frequently. Animals that hibernate include: ground squirrels, hedgehogs, bears, bats, and even a bird.


Birds fly back northward to settle and have their families. Approximately 1800 of the world's 10,000 bird species are long-distance migrants.  









A dialogue with Ashoka Fellow Connie Siskowski, Founder and President of the American Association of Caregiving Youth, the only organization of its kind addressing issues across the United States surrounding the silent, vulnerable and hidden population of children, conservatively estimated to exceed 1.4 million, who provide care for family members unable to manage life independently. Connie's work illustrates powerful empathy by shining a spotlight on millions of children who model empathy every day in meeting the challenge of caring for their loved ones.


Listen to the full podcast here: Innovate podcast

To all our volunteers and supporters! 
In addition, to American Association of Caregiving Youth, we have started a new facebook page that is easier to remember: AACY!

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Join the Sand Sifters for Our Monthly Beach Cleanup 
May 4, 2013
Oceanfront Park
6415 N. Ocean Blvd. (A1A)
Ocean Ridge, Fl
Sign In: 8:00 am
Event Ends: 10:15 am
Visit the Website:   
Pre-register by calling (561) 734-9128. 


Courage does not always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow".
Issue: #60 April 2013  
 Dear Reader,
Connie Siskowski, RN, Ph.D. Founder and President


In the past couple of weeks we have experienced so much of sudden life happenings that we can't understand...Boston bombings, Texas explosion, earthquakes, new diagnosis of a family member...and the list goes on and on. As much as we might like to, we can change none of these things. So what we can do is accept what we cannot impact and simply live life to become the best we can individuals, as caregivers, as family and as society. 

High School CYP students

We are excited to announce that we are in the process of coordinating groups with Boynton Beach Community High School. We held two groups at Boca Raton High School in April. Please call if you would like to be included.


The activities for high school students include:


   - Tutoring

   - One on one coaching towards graduation

   - Out of school educational and recreational activities

   - Educational workshops

   - Goal Setting

   - College preparation

   - Career Choices

   - Life Skills


These services are no cost to you!


Two students will be speaking at the School District Wellness Promotion Day on May 16th.


Graduation party for seniors will be June 4th. Invitations will be going out soon.


Camp Reunion will be July 9th. Please call to reserve a spot. Any students who attended Camp Treasure are encouraged to RSVP.  


Camp Treasure XIII will be taking place May 3rd and 4th. Camp is open to middle school students.


Eighth grade students can look forward to their final group that will include a party and informations on continuing with the Caregiving Youth Project after middle school graduation.


End of year questionnaires will be given in May.


There will be an event on May 15th at Whole Foods Market. If you have not yet attended this event, please call to reserve a spot. Fun, food, and gifts!


Camp Treasure Reunion will be July 9th. Please call to reserve a spot. Any students who attended Camp Treasure are encouraged to RSVP.




Often caregiving youth are not getting enough sleep.   There are many reasons for this including busy schedules and having lots of responsibilities on your plate.  Being rested is so important for your health and well-being...don't forget, your bodies are still growing and changing!  Not only does not having enough sleep add to a bit of grumpiness, when you are tired, your ability to have an "A game" is reduced.

The good news is that there are several things you can do to promote your body's ability to sleep.  These include:

  • Develop sleep regularity by having a set time to sleep and wake up - if the number of hours you are able to sleep is less than your body requires (we all are a bit different) then take a quick afternoon power nap to get recharged.  If you feel sleepy after dinner, do something active to stay awake until bedtime so you can stay on track.
  • Reduce the amount of light and noise in your sleep area.  This may even mean that you need to cover your eyes and ears as you begin to fall asleep.
  • Eliminate big meals, too many liquids and caffeine in the evening. Give your body a break and try to make sure you will not have to interrupt your sleep to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • Practice relaxation techniques while you manage your thoughts. As you lay down do deep breathing exercises and focus your attention on helping your body to relax. Replace thoughts of worry with thoughts of comfort. 

Practice these four things and little by little you will see improved sleep patterns along your journey to be the best you can be.  You, your body and your family will be glad you did! 

When:  May 2, 2013 11:00am - 1:00pm (10:30am check-in)
What: A musical conceived, written, choreographed, designed and produced by Nova High School drama students based on their personal experiences. This unique multi-disciplinary, anti-bullying performance is a "call to action" for all audience members, and has been seen by over 30,000 Broward County students, parents and school staff.   

Where: Palm Beach Lakes Community High School Auditorium 3505 Shiloh Dr., West Palm Beach, FL 33407.  


Register Online:  
For more information, please contact (561) 494-1569.   


Sponsored By: The Palm Beach County Action Alliance for Mental Health of which AACY is a founding member and The School District of Palm Beach County. 

Sephora recieving Sun Life Rising Star Award

I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to be not only chosen by Sun Life Financial for a scholarship but also, the opportunity to attend the Summit in Washington, DC.

The day that I got there, I attended a small conference meeting with all the youth that was attending the summit. We got to introduce ourselves. I learned how to play when the wind blows. Another thing that we did was like speed dating but we got different questions for each person we went to and we got to see different perspectives that young people have. We talked about what influences people the most and how we could decrease school dropout. Then we got tips on how to network.


I was really happy that I toured the monuments on a trolley with a driver who was very knowledgeable. Did you know that you cannot drive in front of the gates of the White House?       


Monday, Colin and Alma Powell said, "This summit is where young people teach us. They are who this summit is about." I learned that the dropout rate has decreased more for Hispanics and Blacks than for Whites. The two states that have a 90% graduation rate are Wisconsin and Vermont.  Florida happens to be one of the biggest states and only has a 59% graduation rate. But every student just needs that one person to care about them. "Find one child and mentor that child"-Wilson

 The goal of the Grad Nation is a 90% graduation rate is doable. We just need to make students feel as if they are essential to society and the can be of great service with an education, not as though they are made to be where they are.


I loved the Summit especially the food, which was presented very well and tasted great. Also, the giant game of rock, paper, scissors that we got the older people to participate in.

Hannah Fidoten, Americorps Member


There are many types of mental health illnesses which your family member may have.  One of them is schizophrenia which affects about one percent of our population.


You may notice that your relative has difficulty distinguishing the difference between what is real and what is imagined. A psychotic episode is when a person with schizophrenia loses touch with reality.  When this happens, you may feel afraid.  That is why it is important for you to understand this illness and know what to do.


It will also help you understand the importance of treatment which often includes medication.  Helping to make sure your relative regularly takes his/her medication is a very important role that you may play in caregiving.


There are many forms of this illness that you can learn about. An example of a common type is called paranoid schizophrenia.  In 

addition to medication schizophrenia can be treated with psychosocial therapy, and hospitalization.  Medicines help relieve some of the symptoms like delusions and hallucinations, while psychosocial therapy can help with psychological, social, and occupational problems associated with schizophrenia.


As with many illnesses that affect the brain, there is no right way to deal with the person's symptoms all the time. Different techniques work at different times. One thing to avoid, however, is going along with his/her hallucination or delusion.  Sometimes talking about an unrelated pleasing topic to interrupt the brain cycle.  It is usually best to listen and sympathize with what he or she is experiencing. 

Words of calming acceptance will also reduce the anxiety of your loved one with the illness who may also feel especially afraid during this time.  Read more about schizophrenia at:


Famous person with schizophrenia: John Nash, Nobel Prize winning mathematician.


Gerry Fallon
American Association of Caregiving Youth

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