We are honoring the 2019 Au Pair of the Year winners!
We received a record number of nominations – resulting in two-way ties for second and third place! This year, we are thrilled to acknowledge 5 inspiring young women and share their stories.
Francinny Nery Sarzedas Amarante, an au pair from Brazil, was delighted at the opportunity to join a family with one young child in Midlothian, Virginia. In May 2018, Francinny arrived at her new home with the Drake family.
Now in her second year of caring for their young daughter, Francinny has inspired her host family more than they ever expected. The Drake family was thrilled to nominate Francinny for the 2019 Au Pair in America Au Pair of the Year Award! Au Pair in America recently announced that Francinny finished in third place for the award.
The award, given annually by Au Pair in America, provides the opportunity for host families to show their appreciation for their au pair’s achievements and the ways in which she has touched their family, something Francinny undoubtedly accomplished.
When their daughter was diagnosed with a rare illness, Francinny was a source of comfort for the family. “I take strength in knowing today my daughter has a guardian angel by her side through this difficult and uncertain time,” writes host mom Ellen Drake in her nomination essay.
Francinny, who comes from a military background, has fully embraced the au pair experience and the power of cultural exchange. “She immersed herself in our southern Virginia culture and roots. She tried all my southern dishes,” writes Ms. Drake.
In addition to experiencing cultural exchange within the Drake family home, Francinny has devoted herself to traveling throughout the United States. “She visited all the local sites and some afar,” Ms. Drake states. “Francinny took every opportunity to meet new friends. When she couldn’t find anyone to travel with to see this country, she didn’t let that stop her. She booked a roundtrip ticket for one and flew all the way to Hawaii and did the Road to Hana [tour] and took in all the sites. She also flew to California and took in the sites of the west coast and spent a few days at Disneyland!”
The Au Pair of the Year Award recognizes first, second and third place winners, chosen by a committee appointed by Au Pair in America. All nominees are nominated by their host family, who are asked to write an essay that describes the characteristics that make their au pair exceptional, noting the positive impact she has had on their family and explaining how she has integrated into their local community and learned about America. All nominees receive a certificate, with the top three winners also receiving round-trip airline tickets. Winners are announced in February.
“It’s been 1.5 years now with her and I can honestly say I’m not sure who is teaching more to whom. You would think I would be the one teaching her more since this is my home and culture, but I’m not sure that’s the case,” writes Ms. Drake in her essay. “She has taught me things that I couldn’t ever imagined and definitely things you can’t look up on Google or read in books. She’s taught me that it’s possible to love someone outside my family unconditionally without limitation. She’s taught me how to appreciate the small things in life. She will remain forever part of our family.”
Interested in having an amazing cultural exchange experience like Francinny and her host family? Learn more about hosting an au pair with Au Pair in America today!