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Congratulations to SHARKS Graduates

It is not uncommon for a caregiver to assist with the care of a grandparent(s) living in the home or other loved ones in need of care. When a youth becomes a caregiver, it is often not out of choice but out of necessity. Oftentimes, it is the assistance of a youth that enables a loved one to remain in the family home and a part of the community. Youth becoming a caregiver can have a detrimental impact on their schoolwork, social activities, mental health and substantially increase their stress level. More so during this past year with the COVID Pandemic.

In 2015 CO.M.E. decided to take on the challenge of researching the need and challenges of youth caregivers in the North Bronx and found that there was a need for youth caring support. The SHARKS Program (Student Helping Assisting Relatives with Knowledge and Skills) launched at PS/IS 83/Bronx in September 2015 with a partial Grant from The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefit Fund. In collaboration with the educators, resource coordinators, and principal and vice-principle The SHARKS Program provides youth caregivers with monthly support group services that addresses the effect of youth caring on a young persons’ mind, body and social disconnection. The monthly educational sessions and respite includes trips, fun activities, and other projects. The Program facilitates an atmosphere of support, encouragement, and stress reduction activities for youth caregivers. With the collaboration of AARP Peachtree Chapter 4997 the program will be based in Co-op City. We are looking forward to September to begin enrolling youth in the 6th and 7th grade.

Most of the youth joined the program in the 6th grade. Please join us as we celebrate our warriors and future leaders who is moving forward with a purpose. They will have a noticeable impact on our society.

Kelly heading Broom Street Academy H.S. Alanys heading to Charter H.S. for Law and Social Justice. Angelena heading to Academy for Scholarship and Entrepreneurship H.S. Alyssa heading to Academy of Mt. Saint Ursula H.S. Jaylene heading to Duchess Community College. Viany heading to John Jay College. Please join us as we celebrate our warriors and future leaders who is moving forward with a purpose. All Junior H.S. graduates receive a gift card. All high school graduates entering college will receive a scholarship. Looking forward to our in-person graduation celebration dinner.

Please join us for our monthly 45 mins informational session on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, at 7pm. Do you know of a youth assisting an ill, disabled, or elderly person? Meet some youths that are making a difference and learn about resources available for Youth Caregivers. Please RSVP online at C.O.M.E. is here for you. Please contact us with any questions or concerns. 718-379-3159.

Diane Cooper

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