Educated at John Hopkins and New York University, Connie obtained her PhD in 2004 from Lynn University. Connie never expected her doctoral research to uncover the high prevalence of family health situations and concomitant caregiving with detrimental academic effects upon children in Palm Beach County.
Her broad background in healthcare and dedication to diminishing caregiver struggles led to the 1998 establishment of a nonprofit organization which has transformed itself to become what is now the American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY), headquartered in Boca Raton, FL.
AACY includes the Caregiving Youth Project of Palm Beach County, the first US program to support the hidden Population of child caregivers, and the Caregiving Youth Institute. The needs of these children are beyond the purview of any one system so AACY integrates healthcare, education and the community (body, mind, and spirit) to provide a strong foundation for the youth and their families.
Connie’s dream is for all family caregivers to be honored and respected but especially youth for their contribution to family and to society; no child in the US should have to drop out of school because he or she has to care for a family member.
During the past five years, Connie was awarded a lifetime Ashoka Fellowship; was a Purpose Prize winner (a national endeavor honoring persons over 60 years of age who initiated social change); was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award from Johns Hopkins University; was named a Woman of Grace by Bethesda Hospital Foundation; became a 2012 Top Ten CNN Hero; received the Office Depot Listen, Learn and Care Award; and, most recently, Connie was awarded a star in Boca Raton’s Walk of Recognition.