September 12, 2013

Where are former Cultural Care au pairs now?

3 minutes
Au pair stories

Meet Alexander Kreher, who was a Cultural Care au pair from Germany in July 2008 until January 2010 in Henrico, VA, and let’s see where he is now!
Alex as an au pair
Alex decided to become an au pair just after his finished high school in Germany. He was unsure of where this path would take him, but he knew he wanted to learn about a new culture and improve his English. He didn’t realize that males could also be au pairs, but learned of the option from a friend who was also in the application process. Shortly after that, he applied to Cultural Care and felt right at home with his host family in Henrico, VA.  Being an au pair and taking on the responsibility of caring for children in a foreign country helped him to develop into a more mature and confident adult.
The decision to extend his au pair term was a big one as he felt the pull to return to his home county. In the end, he decided to extend his stay as an au pair for two reasons: first, his close relationship with his host family, and second, his developing relationship with his girlfriend, Zoe.  But, looking back on it now, he feels that it was the best thing he could have done because he had another 6 months to really think about what was next for him, and if it would be possible to turn his dreams into reality.
After returning to Germany for over one year, he realized that nothing compared to the life for him in the U.S. He could have attended college for free in Germany, but he was drawn to being back at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), the school where he fulfilled his educational requirement as an au pair, and for the field he is focusing on for filming documentaries and field photography.
Where is Alex now?
The rest is history! Alex is now a student at VCU, where he is winning scholarships and awards such as the William B. Clopton scholarship and the Dean’s Award, and he is still dating Zoe.  He continues to spend time with his former host family for dinners, birthday parties, pool parties and other celebrations!
In 2011, Alex filmed his girlfriend, Zoe Romano, as she became the first female to run across the U.S. unsupported. His documentary of her cross-country trek won multiple awards including the Best International Film at the Portland Film Festival and the “Best Student Multimedia” award at the New York Photo Awards. This summer, he documented Zoe’s journey as she became the first person to ever run the Tour de France – more than 2000 miles through grueling elevation changes equivalent to climbing Mount Everest 3.5 times in 9 weeks! For her run, they raised awareness and over $168,000 for the World Pediatric Project, a nonprofit organization that gathers pediatric specialists to volunteer time and expertise to provide surgical and diagnostic care to thousands of children, who need critical care, yet have no access to it in their home countries.
It is because Alex remained open-minded and followed his dreams that he became an au pair. And from his experiences as an au pair and his time in the U.S., that he developed his philosophy which speaks volumes about him, his passions and his pursuit of his dreams:
“Each and every human is capable of achieving extraordinary things, and of using their passions to help change the world. I aim to seek out the very best in myself and in communities and cultures around the world; and, once I’ve found it, to share it through text, photo, and film in order to foster more positive, collective action in my local communities and beyond.”
On behalf of everyone at Cultural Care, we would like to congratulate Zoe and we look forward to seeing the resulting documentary created by her biggest fan and our former Cultural Care au pair, Alex! We’re happy to learn that his year as an au pair was memorable, and has inspired him to keep dreaming (and achieving) big!