Meet our Finalists – Au Pair of the Year Award 2019
After reviewing over 30 host family essays, all describing their rewarding experiences with their au pair, we have selected our three finalists for the IAPA Au Pair of the Year 2019 Award.
The 5 jury members this year consisting of 4 IAPA members as well as last year´s Au Pair of the Year Martin Tóth have reviewed the stories we received from host families recommending their au pairs for the award.
The finalists have each sent us an essay that is being reviewed and scored in order to select our winner who will be announced at WETM-IAC2019 in Luxembourg
Meet our finalists
|Silja Sieger (24)||Rozelle Botes (23)||Nathan Rousseau (21)|
|nominated by||nominated by||nominated by|
|Family Peters USA (VA)||Family Eisner/Gohn USA(OH)||
New Zealand (Auckland)
Silja is an au pair to the Peters family who has three children one of whom has a rare, life threatening genetic condition that means a lot of stress and worries for the family. Silja was a huge support to the host family as the middle child developed an eating disorder due to the situation in the family. As big sister and young friend to the girl she was very empathetic and managed to win the heart of the teenager as well as of the whole family with her great sense of humor, her proactive attitude and positive personality. Silja has prolonged her au pair year to stay another year with her family to help them during a difficult time in their life. A great relieve to them.
Read Silja´s essay Silja Sieger Essay
“Silja’s quick wit and wonderful sense of humor was the first things that I noticed when she arrived. After years of extreme stress, having someone to make us laugh and see things in a humorous way was exactly what our family needed…She was always compassionate with M, never made her feel judged, and M began to really look up to her…
Throughout the year Silja made traditional German meals for us and helped us plan an Oktoberfest Party for my mother’s 75th birthday. She truly wanted to participate in our family activities even when she wasn’t working and we have made so many fun memories.”
Placing agency: Sending and Receiving
South African Rozelle is au pair to family Eisner/Gohn near Cleveland and is taking care of their 10 year old daughter Alana who has significant disabilities. Running an own business and having a daughter with such high special needs asks for a lot of strength, organization and is a great challenge sometimes. The family has been hosting au pairs for 5 years but Rozelle has proven to be their “Super Au Pair”.
Not only is she a tremendous help for her host family but she is also very engaged in the community, attends psychology courses at the college, reads to children in a shelter.
Rozelle herself has gone through difficult times when she had to give up a career in sports for a severe health condition. She remained positive and found her passion in being an au pair to Alana.
“She is warm and caring, strong and diligent, respectful and engaged but most importantly she is committed to helping Alana reach her goals. She loves Alana like a sister, works with her like a therapist and protects her like a mother. … in the past several months she has brought so much joy to our family and the community. We cannot imagine any au pair more worthy of this honor.”
Read Rozelle´s essay here: Rozelle essay
Nathan who was au pair in New Zealand to the family Taylor/Duncan took care of two children and immediately bonded with them and the whole family.
“Nathan was a fantastic, fun-loving ‘joie de vivre’ that is infectious and improved the atmosphere in our home every day. The kids were happier and more settled with him there, and we genuinely enjoyed his company despite the 15ish year age gap between us. We created a huge amount of lasting memories together like celebrating his 21st birthday at our place, for example, when we were able to meet some of his new Kiwi friends
We believe that Nathan thoroughly deserves to win this Au Pair of the Year competition simply for being who he is. Regardless of the results, however, we know we have already gained a lifelong friendship in each other and that this is the ultimate prize in the end!” Aline Taylor
Read Nathan´s essay here Words to the world – NATHAN ROUSSEAU