Look, we know that nurses don’t do what they do in order to be called “heroes.” But let’s face it— anyone whose life has been touched by an exceptional nurse would insist that nurses are nothing short of just that.
Every year, the CNN Heroes Initiative recognizes 10 individuals from across the globe who are doing extraordinary things to improve the lives of others. Each receives a $50,000 grant to help further his or her work. But only one becomes the “CNN Hero of the Year” and receives an additional $250,000 grant to transform and grow his or her project. This year, a nurse is (not surprisingly) among the 10 amazing people who’ve been chosen for the 2012 CNN Heroes.
Connie Siskowski of Boca Raton, Fla. started the American Association of Caregiving Youth in 2006 to provide support for children ages eight to 18 who are the primary caregivers for a family member. These kids are at a high risk of dropping out of school, and the AACY gives them the support they need to finish their educations.
“My work in home care helped me understand what families have to cope with and the great need for support of them,” Siskowski said.
Since 2006, the AACY has provided support to more than 550 kids in Palm Beach County who are at greater risk of dropping out of school to take care of loved ones. There are 1.3 million children who care for an aging, ill or disabled family member—and through Siskowski’s work, this hidden population is being brought to light.
To vote for Siskowski for the 2012 CNN “Hero of the Year”, visit CNNHeroes.com now through November 28. You can vote up to 10 times per day online or on your phone.
Be sure to pick up the next print edition of Scrubs magazine to read our full profile of Siskowski and her work with AACY.