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
Caregiving Tips
Quick Links
Join Our List

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:  
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. 
It's Okay for Family Caregivers to Have Mixed Feelings  
By guest blogger, Dr. Connie.
The team of the Caregiving Youth Project just completed Camp Treasure XVII-a time for caregiving youth to be away from their responsibilities and have time to relax, learn a little, and most of all have the chance to enjoy just being a kid. 
Click here to read the entire blog
AACY is very sad to say farewell to

its two FAU MSW student interns, Samantha and Erin. Samantha will be continuing her journey into her final year at FAU, while Erin will be graduating and entering the field of social work. Both Samantha and Erin have left a lasting impression on AACY and the families we serve.

COMMUNITY PARTNER - [email protected]>  
Strikes bowling alley owners, Debralyn and Ronnie Belletieri have been extremely generous and supportive of AACY including the Caregiving Youth Project.  They have sponsored a number of events and volunteered to drive to Camp Treasure and other CYP activities.

Shown here is one of many summer promotions, click here to view more specials.


At our first Caregiving Youth Institute Conference, Isis M. - a Palm Beach County High School student - shared her personal caregiving story during a workshop about the Caregiving Youth Project. As Isis related her caregiving experiences and how the Caregiving Youth Project has helped her over the years, the audience quickly developed a greater understanding of caregiving youth. The power of sharing stories is twofold: it not only educates and inspires the listeners, but it also strengthens and encourages the narrator. To honor the courage of the storyteller, the American Association of Caregiving Youth presents Courage Awards annually to students who have shared their personal family caregiving story.  

Community Service Hour

You can earn a community service hour by visiting the Palm Beach County Sheriff Offices website and view a video on the 911 Good Samaritan Law.

click here for online training

Issue: #84 April 2015  
Dear Reader,
Connie Siskowski, RN, Ph.D. Founder and President

Last week was the first Caregiving Youth Institute Conference.  Three successful adults whose successful lives were shaped by their caregiving as children and teens shared their stories and made an impact on the audience. They each wished AACY had been there for them as our A-team is here for you. You have told us you feel that you are the "lucky ones" because you receive support through CYP. When you share your story, you will earn an AACY Courage Award - and pave the way for more caregiving youth will become "lucky" too!  

Spring Camp Treasure took place at Gold Coast Camp in Lake Worth on April 24th and 25th. CYP students from different middle schools attended. Students were treated to a bonfire, roasted marshmallows to make S'mores, participated in camp song sing-a-longs, and received comfort dolls on Friday evening courtesy of Summer Faerman and friends. 
Saturday was jam packed with activities. The day started with the KidSURGE fun fitness program, instructed by Coach Rost from APlus Trainer LLC. Inspirational Rapper, E The Savant free styled with the students' names, and was a big hit. Students also enjoyed making treasure boxes with art therapist Sonia Thomas.


Other activities included: Yoga, instructed by AACY's Cara Zimmerman. Then off for a swim with new goggles from Boca West Foundation.  On a hot South Florida day, nothing better than a dip in the pool to cool off. Campers also had an educational hour that included a presentation from Walgreens and Hands Only CPR instructed by Fire Rescue of Palm Beach County.  


AmerCorps members served as camp counselors.  Camp is made possible thanks to the help of school staff, volunteer drivers, and camp nurse along with the generosity of donors.

Most importantly, CYP students had a memorable time and respite from caregiving!   

Atlantic Community High School seniors enjoyed a potluck party.

Congratulations to all CYP seniors who will be graduating in May and participating in the senior activities!! We cannot wait to celebrate and honor all of your hard work at our graduation party.  Stay tuned for more information! 

More sixth grade groups began at some of our middle schools.  If you are in 7th or 8th grade and have not had your final skills building group yet, groups will be taking place in May. 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, a CYP Family Specialist or call 561.391.7401. 

Our April Lunch and Learns were focused on Multiple Sclerosis, and next month the focus will be on Lupus. Please stop by our table and pick up information. 


Are you caring for your mom or dad who has MS (Multiple Sclerosis)?  Early on in the MS journey it is impossible for the average person to look at a person and perceive that person has a chronic illness. In one way that is a relief for you (who wants to be different!) and in another way it can make life a little more challenging especially at school when your mom or dad attends a school meeting early in the day and appears "normal" yet by the end of the day when fatigue sets in, there can be changes in speech and even the ability to get around.

In the absence of your parent using a cane, walker or wheelchair, staff at your school may forget that an illness is involved. One day a parent told one of our team members that people thought she had been on drugs or alcohol. That person didn't realize how MS affects your body! Hurtful comments are typically made out of ignorance rather than being intentional. Education helps!  

Some practical tips for caring for your loved one with MS include:

  • Schedule important activities at the beginning of the day before fatigue sets in.
  •  Remember that many hands lighten the load. Be creative to learn the ways all members of your family can participate in helping, especially with household chores that can be tiring and even boring yet they need to be done!
  • Reduce worry time by staying connected with cell phones whenever possible. At school ask for permission to make a check-in call if you have special concerns.
  • Know that each day is likely to be different than the next so practice flexibility and expect change. After all, change is the constant in the life of everyone today!
  • Join the Caregiving Youth Forum on Caregiver Spa(  It is new and just getting started - you can help yourself and help other caregiving youth too!

    Please know that you are free to call the AACY office (561.391.7401) to speak with a member of the "A-Team" to discuss any concerns you have as you care for your family member(s).


The annual Whole Foods event took place on April 2nd at the Glades Road location.   Mr. James Gennaro taught knife safety, healthy food options, and three easy "do it yourself" Crock Pot recipes. Three students from Boca Raton Middle School volunteered to participate in the food preparation portion of the event.

Then students tasted the finished product of all three recipes.  Some even took to-go-boxes to share with their families! Jarden Consumer Solutions gifted a Crock Pot to each student to recreate those same recipes and expand their interest in healthy, safe cooking.

"In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but by perseverance." ~ H. Jackson Brown 
Gerry Fallon
American Association of Caregiving Youth

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedInView our videos on YouTube