We are so impressed by how many of our au pairs donate their time and talents to community service work. This week’s spotlight is on Bruna Cardoso. Bruna is an au pair from Brazil living with her host family in Michigan and a State Winner for the 2016 Au Pair Community Service Awards. She shared the following about her volunteer work at a local elementary school and more.
My name is Bruna Cardoso, a 20-year-old au pair from Brazil. I live in Novi, Michigan with a wonderful host family. They have two adorable children, who are 7 and 9. Since I am with school age kids, I wanted to make good use of my “free” time during the day and get as much as possible out of my au pair year.
Soon after I arrived to Novi, I began to volunteer at my host kids’ elementary school, doing various kinds of volunteer work. I’ve helped in math classes (playing some math games during class) and Peer Assistance Leadership (PAL) (I read books with the kids and help improve their reading). I also assisted at a holiday shop event, disability awareness and a few other programs.
One of my favorites was a special presentation my host mom and I did to explain about the Chinese New Year. Everyone had so much fun. We made a parade with a dragon (like how it happens at a real Chinese New Year), gave the kids some gifts and read them books. The presentation was extra special because my host kids were there! Another non-profit association that I’ve done volunteer work this year was to help at the FCC-MD (Families with Children from China Metro Detroit) a Chinese New Year event. It was very interesting and rewarding.
I’m very grateful to work with kids, because we can see the sparkle in their eyes that they are happy with your help! When I was helping at Math class or PAL, as soon as I arrive to the class they have a huge smile, the kids run up to me, giving me hugs saying “Bruna, you came today!” Just these words make me so happy knowing that they were waiting for me to arrive! Many times teachers came to me saying “thank you so much Bruna for coming to help with class today. The kids were so glad to see you and they can’t wait for the next time they can see you in class helping teach them!”
Volunteering at PAL also improved my own reading since every night I read for one of my kids. I also learned different ways to teach math so kids have fun while learning, making it more enjoyable. This helped me at home too with my 7 year old who has ADHD by learning more ways to help him understand math so he would be interested in doing it.
Volunteering taught me so much about kids and about the Chinese culture. It’s always interesting to learn about different cultures because it adds different values for ourselves. Seeing how each culture has different walks of life teaches me great life lessons appreciating the differences we all have.
Volunteer work is great for me, because it makes me feel like I really make a difference in the community. Seeing the smiling faces of the people I help is the one of best feelings in the world!
Contact us to view profiles of au pairs like Bruna and to learn how Au Pair in America can be a rewarding cultural experience and child care solution for your entire family.