February 13, 2014
Cultural Care’s Au Pairs of the Year 2014

We asked Cultural Care families to share the invaluable impact their au pair has had on the lives of their children by nominating them for the annual Au Pair of the Year Award sponsored by the International Au Pair Association (IAPA).  Submissions poured in from families across the country and it was clear that, although only one au pair would ultimately be chosen, hundreds of au pairs were already their own Au Pair of the Year.

With a form provided by IAPA, families nominate their outstanding au pairs by providing a written essay describing why their au pair should be considered for the Au Pair of the Year Award. This year we received more nominations than ever before! Our staff rates the essays and then vote for their top choices. Each au pair program around the world can submit up to three semi-finalists. Here are the three au pairs that Cultural Care Au Pair sent to IAPA:

Victoria Romandia from Mexico who looks after two year-old twin girls in California. In her nomination essay, her host family said, “She continues to accept new situations without hesitation and gracefully goes with the flow. From the beginning, she has cared for the twins with an ear-to-ear smile, comforting hugs and contagious unbridled laughter. She loves our girls like they are her own little sisters. She is extremely vigilant of the girls’ safety and creatively programs their time together to include a wide variety of activities.”

Christopher Grombach from Germany who is the au pair for twin 15-year old boys in Connecticut. From his host family, “We are nominating Chris due to his warm and compassionate demeanor, and his outstanding teaching and motivational skills. Chris is always ready to ‘go the extra mile’, and his arrival has been transformational for our family. We firmly believe that Chris’ contributions will have a life altering impact on our twin boys, Rhett and Remington.”

Nina Heidenescher from Germany who takes care of two little girls in Massachusetts. Her host mom writes, “We feel incredibly lucky to have Nina – she is caring, wise, flexible, loving, creative, and of course extremely competent. Nina is our au pair but she is also a part of our family. While these could be taken as mere words, let me conclude by providing irrefutable evidence of how much we love and value Nina: a month ago, when we had to select godparents for baby Cara, we asked Nina to be her godmother. There is no one that we trust more.”

In addition to selecting three semi-finalists to submit to the International Au Pair Association, Cultural Care also recognizes the top-rated nominations in each state and selects state Cultural Care Au Pairs of the Year. This year’s honorees are:

Arizona: Anna de la Cerda Martinez from Mexico with the Gentner family

California: Victoria Romandia from Mexico with the Wang family

Colorado: Beatrice Stachurski from Sweden with the Mielenz family

Connecticut: Christopher Grombach from Germany with the Ullmann family

Florida: Tanja Prandl from Austria with the Terrill family

Georgia: Gabriella Bellinati from Brazil with the Klidjian family

Illinois: Sarah Bachor from Germany with the Gitzke family

Massachusetts: Nina Heidenescher from Germany with the Prior family

Maryland: Ingrid Pinto Pina from Mexico with the Williams family

Michigan: Maria Camila Vasquez Lenis from Colombia with the Reich family

Minnesota: Anell Veskimeister from Estonia with the Nelson family

Missouri: Manuela Sanchez Rodas from Columbia with the Shifren family

North Carolina: Chloe Greco from Argentina with the McGhee family

New Hampshire: Marlisa Gernert from Germany with the Hopps family

New Jersey: Madlen Lipp from Austria with the Shah family

New Mexico: Giovanna Monter Carmona from Mexico with the Lax family

Nevada: Siripan Jareonsiri from Thailand with the Rameker family

New York: Sophie Dumont Saint Priest from France with the Maloy family

Ohio: Sebastian Broeder from Germany with the Sekreter Beaumont family

Oregon: Merylin Nau from Estonia with the Sell family

Pennsylvania: Elisa Rolke from Germany with the Weston family

Pennsylvania: Johanna Dietz from Germany with the Sacunas family

South Carolina: Kellians Hildago Tellez from Colombia with the Murray family

Tennessee: Diana Samboni Cordoba from Colombia with the Little family

Texas: Jennifer Georghiou from Germany with the Guthrie family

Utah: Marcela Moreno from Colombia with the Filippone family

Virginia: Sandra Noack from Germany with the Bradley family

Vermont: Marlene Nys from France with the Johnson family

Washington: Sina Katherin Gerhards from Germany with the Tollenaar family

Washington, DC: Barbara Bricalli from Italy with the Agnew family

Wisconsin: Malin Frieda Sara Virebrand from Sweden with the Mccarthy family

Cultural Care Au Pair thanks the host families who took the time to nominate their au pairs and share with us what makes them exceptional, in most cases extraordinary au pairs doing ordinary things in the lives of American children. We also thank the au pairs who go above-and-beyond in their roles and make a difference in the lives of their host families.  The Au Pair of the Year Award gives us the opportunity to celebrate the efforts of all of our au pairs and according to IAPA, “Enhances the public’s awareness of this wonderful cultural exchange program and the mutual benefit au pairs and families get from it.”


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