January 10, 2020

Our finalists for our 2020 Host Family of the Year Award

Congratulations to our incredible finalists!

6 minutes
Cultural exchange

We’re thrilled to say that we received hundreds of 2020 Host Family of the Year award nominations this year! Here at the Cultural Care Boston office, we’ve been enjoying reading every single submission—hundreds of au pairs from around the world have shared amazing stories of cultural exchange and heartwarming examples of love with their “second families.”

We’ve done the difficult job of narrowing down the submissions to our top 15 finalists. Of course, every single one of our nominees is a winner in their own right—and here at Cultural Care, we’re proud to help bring life-changing experiences to au pairs from around the globe.

Congratulations again to our incredible finalists! Read on to hear more about the impact these host families have had on their au pairs.

The Prieto family from Pennsylvania, nominated by Antonella from Argentina

“Cara, Chris and Max have a big part of my heart, and it is going to be really hard to say goodbye soon. Max is my little partner in crime, my best friend and one of my favorite people in this crazy but beautiful world. They always say that they are grateful to have me but let me tell you something … I can´t imagine this journey without them.” 


The Olson-Daniel family from Iowa, nominated by Alina from Austria

“My host family showed me that I’m never on my own. They’ve been by my side since day one, supporting me in every way possible. I came here with a suitcase full of clothes and other material stuff, but I will leave with a suitcase filled with great memories, love and joy. I learned more than I could have ever imagined, from both my host parents and my 4 lovely host kids.” 

The Tufts family in Minnesota, nominated by Marina from Brazil

“We have the same thoughts and values, and they raise their kids in the same way I would. For them, there’s no discrimination between race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. It’s so good and comfortable to be in a house like this. They are open-minded and respect me as a human being, they know that I’m an adult and they respect my space and my time.”   


The Aga-Phelan family from Colorado, nominated by Luisa from Colombia

“Derek, Jason, Camden and Colton have filled my life with magic by helping me overcome my fear of speaking in English! There have been very funny moments with a lot of mistakes I have made, but thanks to them—to their love and dedication—I have made great changes. With every new word I learn, they teach me how to write it and its meaning.”


The Overbaugh family from Kansas, nominated by Judith from Germany

“I love that we eat dinner together every night. I love it when the girls tell me goodnight in German. I love it when we watch football together. I love the conversations I have with my host parents when the kids are in bed. I love the sleepover parties with the two oldest. I love doing crafts with my host kids and surprising my host parents. I love being a part of their family.”


The Haget family in Florida, nominated by Carolina from Colombia

“Through my family’s small daily actions, I found a special kind of love, the kind of love that fills you up and empowers you to get through any situation. It was when, from the start, they introduced me as their daughter to anyone and everyone. Not the nanny, not an au pair—but one of their own, their family.”


The Whiteaker family in Texas, nominated by Kira from Germany

“I can feel and see the love in so many different things, even if it’s a hug from my host mom, a simple “I love you Kira” from my four-year-old boy for any apparent reason, a high five from my host dad, a kiss on my forehead from my oldest one while taking a picture, or the request from my seven-year-old to sit with them at bedtime until they all fall asleep.” 


The Grossman family in New York, nominated by Michele Luca from Germany

“Right from the beginning I’ve felt accepted and welcomed from everyone. The day I arrived, they showed me a typical American BBQ restaurant and it was amazing! We try to exchange our cultures from time to time which is wonderful because I’m a man from 2 cultures (Italian and German)—and my family has already traveled to some amazing places all over the world!” 


The McBride family in Washington, nominated by Angela from Spain

“It was difficult for me spending Christmas away from home, but being with them seemed like I was with my own family in Spain. They make me feel like a part of their family. They introduce me to their extended family and all of them were super kind. And when my parents came to visit me, they let them stay with us—because for them, my family is their family too.” 


The Biffer family in Arizona, nominated by Oriane from France

“I’m lucky to have matched with a woman so open-minded. I’ve always been a tomboy all my life, who did not really take care of myself. At least I did not know how to do it. Jennifer, in ten months, has completely changed me—I’ve become a stronger woman, with more confidence, who now likes to pay attention to me, and who takes the time to love everything around me.” 


The Tran family in Texas, nominated by Ayele from Italy

“I am very blessed to also have met the grandparents. My host dad’s mom treats me as if I am one of her own. One evening, due to a thunderstorm, I came back home late—and to my surprise, she was awake waiting up for me. Growing up I didn’t have the opportunity to stay with my grandmother, so it really warms my heart to spend time with the grandparents.” 


The Mulcahy family from New Jersey, nominated by Luca from Italy

“I feel so blessed to have found my new wonderful family on the other side of the world. No matter where I’ll go or what I’ll do next, I’m sure I can always count on them and they will always support me in everything! There hasn’t been a day that I felt out of place or not loved. I’m so happy to call this place home because home is where the happiest memories are made!”


The Lund family in North Carolina, nominated by Erica from the Netherlands

“One of my favorite memories with my host family is that we celebrated Kings Day! It is an important day in the Netherlands, because we celebrate the birthday of our king. We made traditional pie—and it was amazing to do this with my family! We also went to a Kings Day in Seattle and met a lot of other Dutch people there!”


The Fain family in Tennessee, nominated by Lina from Sweden

“I realized how much this American family means to me, my well-being, my personal development, and my life. Despite being thousands of miles away from everything and everyone I know, the Fains, through their warmth, family dynamic, love, generosity and pure goodness has made me a happier person.”


The Byrne family in Ohio, nominated by Chevonne from South Africa

“I have so many amazing memories with my host family, like the first time we made homemade pasta together, my very first Independence Day parade and my very first Thanksgiving. I also got to tick off one of my biggest bucket list items in life when they took me with them to the Grand Canyon. We went on a 1.7 mile hike down to Ooh Aah point. It was life-changing.”