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
Middle School Updates
Continuing Care
Caregiving Tips
Quick Links
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You have told us that you want more kids to know about and receive support from CYP.  Currrently CYP is working on a unique connection initiative.   Please participate in a pilot program.  We want and need your help to create this!  High school students can earn community service hours while participating.  Learn more by contacting Ms. Vera at 561.391.7401 or [email protected]
Throughout her career, Shelley Gottsagen has

provided strong guidance and passionate advocacy, highlighted by dedication to facilitate systemic change. Her vision is for a society where equal opportunities and respect for diversity are highly valued.


Shelley's experience includes nonprofit management and more than a decade in state and county government. She has served on multiple nonprofit boards including, but not limited to, the Florida Independent Living Council, Human Rights Advocacy Council, and the Homeless Coalition of PBC. Shelley has received over 25 awards for her outstanding work and has co-authored multiple publications.


Her education includes a Bachelor of Social Welfare and a Masters of Non-Profit Management. Currently she is pursuing a dual Masters in Mental Health and Rehabilitation Counseling.  

The Palm Beach County has a online research link.  Practice for an upcoming drivers test, research products, download music and much more. 

Students, do you have a fire extinguisher in your home?  Do you have a smoke detector?  If not, please call our office 561.391.7401 and let us know!  We want you and your family to be safe! 


Call 561.391.7401 and speak with a Family Specialist if you are interested in receiving tutoring help during the school year.


We have certified teachers in all subjects.  If you struggled last school year, let us help make this school year easier for you.
Our hearts are grateful for all you do for our caregiving youth.


Everyone is getting very excited about the Annual Holiday Party coming up on December 21, 2014! The event will be happening from 1 to 4 pm at Benvenutos in Boynton Beach. This is a time of celebration for CYP youth caregivers and their immediate family. Keep your eyes out for your invitation in the mail, and remember to RSVP.

Cara comes to us with many years of social work experience in South Palm Beach County. She received her MSW from FAU
in 2009 where she was the Acolyte President of her class. Cara worked as a Case Manager for Planned Parenthood, Food Pantry Coordinator at Jewish Family Service and Program Coordinator at Spirit of Giving Network. Currently Cara is on the Ambassador Board at Milagro Center and is a mentor there as well. She and her husband, Ken reside in West Boca and their son works as a Military Legislative Assistant to a congressman in Washington, DC. Cara is now the CYP Care Coordinator where she works with families to help find resources to improve their lives. 
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Gerry Fallon
American Association of Caregiving Youth

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Issue: #79 November 2014  
Dear Reader,
Connie Siskowski, RN, Ph.D. Founder and President


Each Camp Treasure the caregiving youth, staff and volunteers gather together before the Friday dinner to say one thing for which we are thankful. Often it is for family! This year at an interfaith Thanksgiving service, Dr. Tom Tift shared the evening message. He said he is thankful for H2O! It uniquely can be a solid, liquid or gas and is a primary component of our bodies, food, the world; and is important for growth of all living things. Yet, water has a wild side that can result in devastating flooding. It is easy to take for granted water and other important things. This Thanksgiving let's appreciate both the obvious and the subtle aspects of our lives! 



November's Lunch and Learn sessions have been focused on Diabetes. Students were given information on the types of Diabetes, and how to help care for a family member or someone in their home having Diabetes. Skill-Building Groups are continuing at our current middle schools; Omni, Okeeheelee, Carver, Palm Springs, Congress, Boca Raton, and Lantana. The students are learning how to develop and maintain healthy relationships, how to handle peer pressure including drugs and social media, and how to advocate.  


If you are attending a high school which currently offers the CYP and are interested in becoming a part of our groups, you are more than welcome to join! We will work on what YOU need, including your goals and ways to achieve those goals.

Students are you in need of more Academic Support? We want to help! We have tutors that are excited to help students learn and improve their grades. Let us know so we can help you bring your grades up to ensure a bright future.


CYP SENIORS: Please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what your plans are after graduation. We would be more than happy to help you with college scholarships, and or financial aid for the future. We also are available to give you information about any other questions you may have.  


The School District of Palm Beach County officially recognizes November as "Caregiving Youth Month". In the past there was a day of recognition for family caregivers, and then it became a week of recognition and now the entire Month of November is dedicated to caregivers! During November take time for yourself and celebrate what a wonderful job you are doing. Give yourself credit for all the work you do and remember what an important role you play for your family, and our society.


It is crucial that caregivers share their story! It is inspiring when a caregiver asks for help, and we want to remind all of our caregivers that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. When you take the leap and tell others about your story, you realize how many other people around you are going through a similar situation. You would never know that you are not alone, unless you shared your story! 



This year Camp Treasure XVI was held on November 14th and 15th. Students who attended were from different middle schools. Caregiving Youth enjoyed many activities including: a Sing-A-Long by the Campfire, Yoga, Low Ropes Course, Swimming, Art Therapy, Hands only CPR Training by Palm Beach Fire Rescue Dept. and more. Everyone from the staff, the AmeriCorps volunteers, and the students had a memorable time; plus we were lucky to have perfect weather for the whole time.


Thank you to all of the volunteers, staff, and students who participated and made the camp a success!  


Walgreens has supported the Caregiving Youth Project for more than a year.  Thankfully their pharmacist has shared information with students at Camp Treasure.  Walgreens employees at several stores participate in donating items for our Holiday Celebration.   


Walgreens ( vision is to be America's most loved pharmacy-led health, wellbeing and beauty enterprise. Each day, in communities across America.  Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with online and mobile services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs.  The company operates 8,218 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


CVS is one of two popular drug store chains.  WPTV station shopped for the same items at the two stores so you can compare prices and save on more than 90% of the items.  Here is a link to learn more: 


When a person has a title or a particular designation, a certain credibility or expectation goes with the title. You have a title! You are a Caregiving Youth!


November is National Family Caregivers Month and it has been that for more than a decade. Typically, though youth caregivers are excluded from support provided to adult family caregivers. We must work to change that - and we are, little by little!


The language in the Presidential proclamation does not have age discriminators. This year for the first time, an organization in New York (Caregiver Outreach Ministry Empowerment) that celebrates family caregiving, gave current and former youth caregivers awards. And, The School District of Palm Beach County awarded a proclamation on behalf of youth caregiving on Tuesday, November 18th.


One of the best ways to receive more acknowledgement for your title, is to share your story. We must help people understand what you do, the challenges you face and how you best manage those challenges. At first it is a little hard to do but the more you do it, like most other things, the easier it becomes!


Thus, the tip for November is to stand up strong and be counted! Be the best that you can be! With honor claim your title of being a Caregiving Youth! In your heart and in your mind know that you are making a difference in the life of at least one other person. You are valuable to your family and to society. Continue to do good today!


If this happens to be a time when you are feeling challenged by caregiving responsibilities, please speak with a CYP team member at your school's Lunch and Learn sessions or call the AACY office (561.391.7401) so we can work together on new solutions of caring and learning what works best for you and your family.  

By Guest Bloggers Connie Siskowski, RN, PhD and Shelley Gottsagen, MNM

If someone has a disability, some people may wonder, "Why in the world would you have a child?" For others, life happens unexpectedly while already a parent and results in a disabling condition. Often people don't think about the back story or they just don't understand; they are simply ignorant and uninformed.


The reality is that estimates show that more than six million children in the United States are raised by parents with disabilities!

Click here to read the entire blog