Caregivers Outreach Mentorship Empowerment (COME) has advocated for family caregivers since its inception in 2006. In 2015 we expanded our work to include youth family caregivers. Nationwide, there are approximately 1.3 to 1.4 million child caregivers between the ages of 8 and 18. Youth caregivers are the “hidden Population” They provide care to the ill, disabled, or elderly. The youth are enrolled in the program from the sixth and seventh grades. They play a significant part in our community, health care system, and nation. Our organization’s mission of advocacy and education prompted us to establish the Youth Caregivers Initiative (YCI). We solely focus on the trauma of being a youth caregiver, which can impact their psychological, emotional, physical, and social well-being and academic success. We address this issue through education, research, and legislation. COME endeavors to create an environment where health and education thrive and engages youth caregivers, their families, and their advocates with resources and tools.
The program is heading into its 7th year and is based in the Bronx. Before the COVID Pandemic, the program provided youth caregivers with in-person support group sessions followed by respite activities. The respite activities provided a fun time. A break from their caregivers’ responsibilities, be with other youth caregivers, express their thought and needs, and be a kid. The program also fostered family time activities with our Annual Purple Day, Walk to End Alzheimer’s’, Family Game Night, and Family Day. In addition, referrals are made to community organizations to assist the family. We are looking forward to resuming the above activities.
Please help me congratulate four of the youths that are heading to college. Malakai Modeste, Cassie Knight, Brianna Gjongesaj and Tanjela Ahmed. Each year COME sponsors our youth entering college with a $1000 scholarship. These youth have cared for family members with various health issues. Through it all, they endured. They were steadfast on a mission and took on daily challenges with confidence. They are young adults with a plan and purpose for their lives. I am proud of them and know they are going to have a significant impact on their community.
Our Mission for the SHARKS Program: Advocate, Increase public awareness.
Educate, About the effect of Trauma on youth caring. Research, Justification of a need
Outreach, Provide available resources and respite. Visit our website to learn more about the SHARKS, donate, sponsor, or become a volunteer. Do you know a youth caregiver? Nominate a Youth Caregiver to be recognized at our upcoming Annual Caregivers Gala via zoom in November. Nomination forms are on our website at comeoutreach.org.
Please join us on Thursday, September 15, 2022, for our monthly 45 mins informational session at 7 pm. Presenter: Adina Segal, LCSW, Jewish Community Outreach Social Worker CarimgKind Connection Program, Alzheimer’s Program.