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Longboat Island Chapel hosts charity event benefiting young parents

The chapel donated baby items for teen parents in the Riverview High School Cyesis program.

Longboat Island Chapel donated baby items to teen parents enrolled in the Cyesis Program.
Longboat Island Chapel donated baby items to teen parents enrolled in the Cyesis Program.
Courtesy photo
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The Longboat Island Chapel held a charity event May 16 that helped pregnant teens and young parents.

“Every month we collect for charity and this year we sponsored Cyesis. It’s a program based out of Riverview High School that supports teen parents. Cyesis actually means pregnancy in Greek,” said Karen Pashkow, charitable outreach committee member.

Pashkow explained Cyesis helps with not only physical and emotional well-being but schoolwork as well. 

The chapel collected diapers, baby clothes, shampoo and other essential items for teen parents and their babies.

“One of the chapel ladies knitted blankets and hats to match for Cyesis, too, which was really sweet,” said Pashkow. 

Meredith Piazza, a social worker for Cyesis, kicked off the event by giving an introduction to the program and explaining that Cyesis has been educating and helping teen parents for over 40 years.

Reverend Brock Patterson, Meredith Piazza, and Muriel Klosterman
Courtesy photo

“Currently there are 16 mothers and two fathers in the program, and it’s pretty incredible because there’s a day care on the premises at Riverview, so the young parents can go to class and their children can go to day care,” said Pashkow. “We collected so many baby items that we filled Meredith’s car. It’s such an important program because some of these young mothers have been through very difficult moments in their lives and they are still trying to get their high school diploma.”

Pashkow explained that along with the chapel, Healthy Start and Children First also help Cyesis.

Once in the program, the babies are taken care of through kindergarten with health care provided and other means of support to help young parents and their children succeed.

“Cyesis works with girls that don’t know how they got pregnant. It’s an education support system centered around helping young parents and babies succeed in life,” said Pashkow. “One teen mother in the program went on to become a nurse who now mentors other girls in the program. It’s remarkable.”



Sidra Wali

Sidra Wali is a staff writer for the Longboat Key Observer. She's worked as a newspaper reporter and written for several publications and organizations as a freelancer.

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