Our ten finalists for the 2016 Host Family of the Year award!

January 29, 2016

All we can say is, “Wow”. Over 500 au pairs nominated their families for our Host Family of the Year Award. It’s obvious from these au pairs’ essays that what makes a host family great are three simple things: 1. they support a cultural exchange experience; 2. they invest in knowing their au pairs personally; and 3. they welcome them into their homes as family members. Really, all of the nominated host families deserve recognition (and all of the nominees are listed after our ten finalists), but the following are our ten favorites. You will hear more about each of these families on our blog in the coming months, and a final winner will be chosen in the next few weeks, so please stay tuned! 

Bibee Family

Marta with two of her host boys and host mom Rachel.

The Bibee family in MD
“The best part of being an au pair was time with my host kids. I loved preparing meals for them. The boys always said that Thursday was their favorite days of the week because I made pancakes for breakfast using my mom’s recipe. They called them Polish Pancakes which was really funny to hear.”
—Marta Świąć, Cultural Care au pair from Poland

Brown Family

Ana Carolina loves being silly with her two host boys.

The Brown family in CO
They treat me as part of their family—not only my host parents and kids but my “host-grandparents” as well. I was invited to all their family meetings and celebrations, where they were so happy to share their stories and culture around the dinner table.
—Ana Carolina Mello Araujo, Cultural Care au pair from Brazil

Crawford Family

Florencia cared for 4 beautiful little girls during her extension year in the U.S.

The Crawford family in MD
“After some long flights and a lot of nervousness I finally met my host family at the airport. I’m from South America so we are used to hugs and kisses, so when my host mom said: “Welcome” and gave me a hug I had the feeling of being happy again.”
—Florencia Bernaus, Cultural Care au pair from Argentina

Rebecca felt her host family was looking out for her even before she left to come to the USA.

The LaLumiere family in IA
“When it was time for me to leave Australia, Laura (my host mum) sent a message to my mum telling her that she knew how hard it must be for them to say goodbye to me and that they were excited for my arrival and thankful for my parents in letting me leave again.”
—Rebecca Brown, Cultural Care au pair from Australia

Marisa Family

Adriana fits right in with her host family in Pennsylvania.

The Marisa family in PA
“My host family gave me something you cannot touch; they gave me the most beautiful thing they could. Time. I tried to come up with one day or a moment in the pile of them which would do them justice, but then I realized it’s not just one moment! It is every single day with them, good or even bad, whether we spend it crying or laughing.”
—Adriana Strapkova, Cultural Care au pair from Slovakia

McMorrow Family

Maja immediately at home with her host family.

The McMorrow family in MA
“‘I just know that you are going to be great. It’s like you belong here.’ Those were my host dad’s words to me on my first day. It takes someone special to make you feel at home in a strange country thousands of miles away from home, to welcome you with all they have.”
—Maja Axelsson, Cultural Care au pair from Sweden

Oplinger 17-Mod

Joy gets much joy from her host family!

The Oplinger family in WI
“My host children are the reason why I wake up happy everyday. They always teach me something new. For example, it is never ok to leave the room without giving all of them, including mum and dad, kisses and hugs.”
—Joy Orji, Cultural Care au pair from Italy

Stephens Family

Daniela is the Stephens family’s first au pair and she is loving her time with them so far.

The Stephens family in CA
“I am so happy and grateful to God for my life because it’s very difficult to make the decision to leave your family and be alone in a country that you do not know well, but I can say from the bottom of my heart that the Stephens family is really my family.”
—Daniela Sandoval Suarez, Cultural Care au pair from Colombia

Uris Family

Uris, with her two adorable host kids, feels very supported by her host family.

The Uris family in NY
“They really want me to enjoy my time in the states and are always helping me experience all of the things that I want to do while I’m here.”
—Zoe Mulvihill, Cultural Care au pair from England

Whetstine Family

Chenxi fell in love at first sight with her host family!

The Whetstine family in VA
“As I first saw them and talked with them on Skype, I knew, that’s it, I found my other family.”
Chenxi Wang, Cultural Care au pair from China

Here is a list of all of our 500+ Host Family of the Year Award nominees. Congratulations to all of you!

Arizona: Gaetke / Spight  Arkansas: Godwin  California: Allen / Al-Midani / Bain / Beallo / Blake / Blough / Cherin / Davis / Defoe / Dias / Dyer / Gay-Hayes / Goebel / Gordon / Grechman / Harris / Harvin / Hegarty / Hildebrand / Jacowitz / Jarosz / Jones / Jordan / Kneass / Kosut / Kulasooriya / Labarge / Langridge / Leabman / Lee / Mann / Mclinden / Moelleken / Monro Cho / Mooney / Morris / Morris / Pasterneck / Pennington / Penton / Probst / Rittenberg / Romick / Russell / Rustad / Sappo-Cronin / Spinne / Stephens / Tastard / Terrell / Van Alyea / Virdi / Walia / Pandey / West / Wilhelmsen / Womack / Woodruff / Yousaf  Colorado: Allen / Bauer / Bent / Blair / Brown / Doebbeling / Domenico / Forss / Groce / Groce / Heckendorf / Herbert / Janowicz / Jones / Kelly / Olson / Osika / Page / Phillips / Rehm / Richardson / Storey / Theisen / Trachman / Valentine / Vandervest  Connecticut: August / Bonasera / Ferguson / Grissa / Hallgarten / Hidalgo / Hughes / Huminski / Iannarone / Kallop / Kelly / Kritzman / Pieratti Yelland / Repenning / Schaap / Sullivan / Torres  Delaware: Seiff  Florida: Banta / Brandes / Fogel / Schimenti / Vemuri  Georgia: Allen / Berner / Burbridge / Dickens / Ferguson / Grant / Katz / Shakir / Ugwonali Idaho: Gehring  Illinois: Adler / Bengston Salazar / Carnicom / Cohen / Cook / Coulthard / Crane / Deutsch / Diericx / Donehoo / Duchnowski / Edwards / Ehrich / Elliott / Jensen / Keenan / Kinsella / Mannella / Moore / Mudd / Nielsen / Olges / Pactor / Patos / Prakash / Schrimpf / Schroeder / Sebold / Sebold / Swanson / Tannenbaum / Thephasdin  Indiana: Mcginty / Steinberg  Iowa: Benge / Harris / Lalumiere / Teixeira  Kentucky: Benkner / Lee / Woodroof  Louisiana: Slim  Maine: Kirkham / Lucas  Maryland: Albright / Barr / Berman / Bibee / Briar / Carr-Johnson / Chadwick / Crawford / Diaz / Freedman / Holstein / Hunnicutt / Koumbourlis / Levine / Logan / Moy / Pizzurro / Rife / Sagel / Schmidt / Stevens / Stringfellow / Thompson / Thornton Graber / Torbay / Ulku / Verdun  Massachusetts: Ackerman / Andrews / Ayres / Beswick / Blais / Bookston / Burke / Carroll / Cooney / Cooper / Corbett / Crane / Craven / Craven / David / Dyke / Gamel / Grana / Hamnvik / Harney / Hartman / Kerwar / Lee Frenzel / Mccarthy / Mcmorrow / Okie / Packineau / Park / Parsons / Reece / Roeder / Smith / Sokol / Sterling / Tessier / Urwitz / Vincenzo / Watson / Weiss / Welch / Wright / Wright  Minnesota: Hopfenspirger / Neist / Pifer Mcnally / Stirratt  Mississippi: Marshall  Missouri: Soloman  Nevada: Doenges / Fechser / Fletcher / Kaphengst  New Hampshire: Brodeur / Geihsler  New Jersey: Barna / Barr / Brown / Brown / Bruschetta / Cappy / Chalfoun / Ciszak / Fleming / Fluhr / Gonzalez / Haddad / Haddad / Hammond / Hellwig / Howell / Kiellar / Kwan / Linnehan / May-Ortiz / Mitrotasios / Murphy / Paleos / Paleos / Panzer / Poznanski / Remo / Rinaldi / Romano / Schloff / Skogen / Stefano / Stoev / Strauser  New York: Artmann Cowan / Avezzano / Bodner / Bogosian / Bolton / Brunetti / Burik / Casella / Covino / Denley / Duggal / Fallon Cuttita / Flockhart Shanks / Francis / Gerzetic / Giacalone / Hanlon / Hope / Horn / Horner / Jacobs / Keane / Kelly / Khan / Koenig / Kunz / Lampasona / Leo / Mccarton / Merkin / Merkin / Mohammadi / Molin / Moore / Netter / O’Brien / O’Rourke / Ryan / Sichel-Outcalt / Simonelli / Tripp / Uris / Vasti / Wargas / Wolf / Wood / Zaput / Zoia  North Carolina: Bingell / Bingell / Franchina / Harp / Mann / Phadke / Smithson / Smithson / Soistman / Tupper  Ohio: Burkey / Copestick / Di Salvo / Foskett / Ikezuagu / Kosina / Leather / Tress  Oklahoma: Wood  Orgeon: Brooks / Kirby / Ramirez / Sell  Pennsylvania: Angelicola / Bhuiya / Bogdan / Cohen / Cowart / Cullen / Dash / Denker / Gurevich / Koetz / Lacy / Marisa / Mcginley / O’Brien / Perkins / Perkins / Sharkey / Wehrspann / Yoder  Rhode Island: Greene / Herchenroether  South Carolina: Hart  Tennesse: Owens / Wilson  Texas: Allen / Amidon / Balck / Ballentine / Bosch / Coffman / Dufault / Fidaire / Henry / Horne / Morris / Rao / Savu / Ulmer / Ulmer / Urso / Uzuanis  Utah: Eggington Mclachlan / Jones / Mitchell-Engar / Pierson  Vermont: Allegretti / Bradley / Bradley / Dorsey  Virginia: Benest / Birkenstock / Blickley / Broome / Campagnuolo / Cherayil / Clemence / Conklin / Craig / Crawford / Ferraro / Galbraith / Garland / Grace / Hoffa / Holcombe / Hutchinson / Keeling / Klein / Levine / Libby / Lokmanhakim / Mallard / Maltese / McCarter / McNamara / Nee / Neverosky / Packler / Portillo / Priddy / Rexroad / Rezk / Rogers / Romine / Rueff / Schneider / Shlesinger / Taylor / Taylor / Thomson / Whetstine / Zack  Washington: Aslam / Avina / Bankson / Bowen-Radke / Brant-Zawadski / Buchanan / Bush / Cyphers / Davidson / Dunaravich / Elder / Elsberry Carter / Emmert / Ernest / Gowans / Kearns / Koning / Kristalinski / Marion / Miner / Naye / Nelson / Russell / Smith / Studebaker / Taylor / Turton / Wagner Keane / Wentworth  Wisconsin: Lucas / Oplinger


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