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 Nora Botzenhardt. Nora is an au pair from Germany living with her host family in Maryland 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.
My Name is Nora, I’m 26 years old and from Berlin in Germany. My journey as an au pair began last September. I arrived in a little town in the suburbs of Washington D.C., named Kensington in the state of Maryland. I take care of two sweet boys with the age of seven and nine. Since I’m an EduCare au pair, I only work 30 hours a week and have a lot of time on my hands. I love the educational component of this program but there is still more I want to do.
After about three weeks after my arrival I began to look for opportunities to volunteer. My host mom was a big help with this matter. Back in Germany I got my undergrad and my Masters in Education, Arts and Management, so we tried to figure out what kind of opportunities I would have to volunteer. She wrote to the art teacher of my host kids elementary school. We met up and there was an instant connection.
Since last October, once a week I volunteer for two hours in a special education class (kids with special needs, such as Asperger-Syndrome or Trisomy 21) and also in the art class for first graders. My younger host child loves having me around and is always so proud when the teacher includes me in her lessons.
Art-Thursdays as I call them, are a basic ritual of my week, and I’m already sad to say goodbye to Mrs. Payne (the wonderful art teacher) and most of all the amazing kinds I get to help and support every week, when summer vacation begins.
Mrs. Payne always tells me how appreciative she is that I come into class and just instinctively know how to help her best. This makes me very happy. And since this is my profession, I also get to learn how the American school system works and what techniques Mrs. Payne uses that could be helpful for me. It’s pretty much a win-win situation.
Volunteering is such a wonderful thing. I can recommend it to every single au pair. It’s a great way into the American life and also into your community. You are a part of it now!
Don’t just dream it! Do it!
Contact us to view profiles of au pairs like Nora and to learn how Au Pair in America can be a rewarding cultural experience and child care solution for your entire family.