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.
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Dial 2-1-1 and be connected to a confidential hotline to help you access services available in our community. 2-1-1 is there to listen to you. They won't judge you or tell you what to do. You don't even have to use your real name.

Or want to talk online? ... chat with their caring specialists during available hours.

Click here for an online copy of youth yellow pages

By Guest Blogger Connie Siskowski, RN, PhD

Early in December, I received an email request asking if Alex Sheen, the Founder of "Because I Said I Would"--a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to bettering humanity through promises made and kept--could fulfill his promise of volunteering at a nonprofit every week during 2014.Alex lives in Ohio but would be in Florida for a conference presentation and our nonprofit, the American Association of Caregiving Youth® (AACY), was selected as a potential volunteer opportunity.


Keyona and Isaocena Vincent.

Keyana Vincent, 31, dropped out of high school in her senior year to nurse her mother, Isaocena Vincent, through colon cancer.

By: Alissa Anderegg, guest author from Duke University

Click here for the complete guidebook


The Caregiver Space is an online community for caregivers of all ages. As an initiative of the Caregiving Youth Institute to connect children across the United States who are caring for ill, injured, elderly or disabled family members, the American Association of Caregiving Youth ® now hosts a Caregiving Youth Forum and a biweekly chat on The Caregiver Space. You may access both the forum and the chat by registering for free at:

CYP student, Aereonna Defau (purple dress) was among selected participants in the Miss West Palm Beach pageant.


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.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou

Gerry Fallon
American Association of Caregiving Youth

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Issue: #81 January 2015
Dear Reader,
Connie Siskowski, RN, Ph.D. Founder and President

We have just celebrated the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. He would be proud that the CYP celebration included a group meeting for high school seniors to assist with scholarship applications. Completing even one application is time consuming and tedious however the reward can be well worth the time and energy spent! One of the legacies of Rev. King is for us to know that the true test of character is during the tough times, not the easy ones. Stay strong and soar!


Thank you to all who participated in the AACY College Workshop on MLK Day, especially Laura Clarkson, an ACT tutor and AACY volunteer, and Robin Blank from the Financial Aid office!! Seniors, it is time to complete your FASFA application!! If you have not done so or need assistance there are many individuals to assist - contact your school guidance counselor or the staff at AACY.

Many scholarships are available for High School seniors! Get a head start now as deadlines for the scholarship applications are fast approaching. The George Snow Foundation Scholarship has an award for youth caregivers!! Deadline for this scholarship is February 1st at midnight. The website to apply for this scholarship is

Please call the office if you have any questions. Don't forget- your guidance counselors are here to help you as well! Ask your guidance counselors for more scholarship information. Good luck seniors!

Need a little extra academic support? Let us know! We want you to be the best you can be and get the best grades possible - your future is in YOUR hands! Please contact your Family Specialist or Cara Zimmerman at the office - 561-391-7401

The next high school event will be our annual picnic at John Prince Park in March, Stay tuned for more information.


Groups are in full swing at all of our middle schools for the 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Thank you to all who are participating; we look forward to seeing you at our next group session. Please remember that we are here to assist you and your family beyond your group meetings at school. If you would like a home visit to help you and your family, speak with your guidance counselor or CYP Family Specialist.

Omni Middle School will be participating in a nutrition cooking class thanks to The Jr. League of Boca Raton. Students in all Boca middle schools have been attending Boca Raton Community High School basketball games - thanks to Coach Spinner and Coach Knight.

During February we will be focusing on Heart Disease, Stroke and High Blood Pressure. Please stop by our table and pick up information.


The Caregiving Youth Project attended a Beach Day/Marine Life Center Tour at Carlin Park in Jupiter on Saturday January 24th.
Special thanks to Jack and Jill sponsors.
Isabel Parrado, Professional School Counselor, Okeeheelee Middle School
Congratulations again on your selection as a 2015 ASCA School Counselor of the Year semi-finalist. Mrs. Parrado, along with the other semi-finalists, finalists and the winner, have been invited to attend a White House recognition ceremony on January 30, 2015.

The finalists were selected based on several criteria, including: school counseling innovations, effective school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills and contributions to student advancement. School counselors make significant contributions to the overall well-being of students and their success,"said Richard Wong, Ed.D., Executive Director, American School Counselor Association. "They have unique qualifications and skills that allow them to address students' academic achievement, personal/social and career development needs."

Mrs. Parrado, an AACY Board Director, hopes to bring awareness to the youth caregivers struggles while in Washington.

By: Renee Nakash, FAU Student

Imagine a circle of friends passing a verbal message to each other. Each friend has a different part of the message to deliver to complete the communication. What happens if one person in the circle gets up and leaves the room before delivering their part of the message? The message will be incomplete and not make sense to the rest of the circle.

This is basically what happens inside a person's brain with dementia. The brain cells, much like the circle, communicate messages to each other. If the brain cells are damaged they are unable to communicate with the other cells. If the damage occurs in a part of the brain people use to think, the undelivered message can result in the loss of the ability to remember daily functions. This can be as simple as remembering to turn the oven off, to take their daily medication and to make a phone call.

Do you know someone in your family that is often forgetful and that needs your assistance to remember things for them? Do they blame their forgetfulness on their age? Do you notice notes around the house with minute tasks on them? Like...remember to take the garbage out, call Joe back today, pick Jen up from school today, etc. While these notes seem like no big deal, they might be the first signs of dementia.

As a teen I was unaware of what could have been the warning signs of dementia. The pink and yellow post-it notes around the house would remind my grandmother to do things so she wouldn't forget.

As the years went on, she progressively became worse. She was later diagnosed with dementia and now lives in an assisted living facility. She is unable to perform daily functions such as bathing herself or getting dressed. While there is no cure for dementia, she is on medication to help slow down her symptoms.

If you know someone that is not getting help, encourage them to see a doctor. The doctor can perform a series of physical and mental tests to help make a diagnosis. An early diagnosis can give you more time with your family member to be able to share in the special memories of life.

If you would like to learn more about dementia and the warning signs go to:

During this month CYP has been focusing on Alzheimer's disease (AD), which occurs so often among our older population and even among those who are younger who have early onset AD. Sometimes you may feel there is a lack of understanding by others about what you and your family are going through when caring for someone with memory loss.

When the person you care for has a memory loss related illness, walking aimlessly and even wandering outside your home may be a concern for you. These tips are designed to help you and your family keep its members safe.

  1. Use a medical alert bracelet - today there are even ones with a GPS chip.
  2. Let your neighbors know so if they too can be on the alert for your loved one.
  3. Keep items such as jackets or keys out of sight.
  4. Lock doors with multiple locks; consider a combination lock.
  5. Install a door chime so others are aware when the door is opened.
  6. Register your family member's information with local law enforcement and the Silver Alert program.

Finally, as an aside, when a person walks a lot, weight loss may be apparent and your loved one may simply forget to eat. Providing high calorie foods and nutritional supplements may be needed to maintain a healthy weight.

United Way of Palm Beach County's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free and safe income tax preparation services throughout Palm Beach County to those with a 2014 household income of $60,000 or less. This year, VITA offers three options:
  • FILED For You: Visit one of 14 VITA sites throughout Palm Beach County and an IRS certified VITA volunteer will prepare and e-file your tax return.
  • FILED With Help: Visit select VITA sites where you will file your own tax return online with the support and guidance of an IRS certified VITA volunteer.
  • FILED Yourself Tax Online: Log on to and file your own tax return. It's simple, fast and secure. Have a tax or software related question? Call the toll-free helpline 1.855.698.9435 to speak with an IRS certified VITA volunteer (open 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday).
Last year, this program helped process more than 9,400 income tax returns for lower income households resulting in upwards of $6 million in earned income tax credits and $15 million in tax refunds. A program such as VITA not only helps individuals and families in our community but it also helps our local economy. Since 2004, VITA has returned approximately $152 million to our community.
Click Here or call 2-1-1 for sites or more information.