One of our Au Pair of the Year finalists, South African au pair Rozelle has not only captured our hearts but her story has also captured the hearts of the IAPA ‘Au Pair of the Year’ judges. We are incredibly proud and delighted to announce, that Rozelle is this year’s worthy recipient of the prestigious IAPA Au Pair of the Year award.
Rozelle is a remarkable young woman who through her dedication, caring nature and perseverance has transformed the life of her disabled host child. This is her story…
MY AU PAIR STORY
I love being an au pair for many reasons. The moment I met my host child, Alana, I fell in love with her. She is such a blessing in my life and has taught me more than I can teach her. My host family has truly made me part of their lives since day one. I am lucky to be with people who see me as part of the family not just as their au pair.
Being Alana’s au pair is not work for me but definitely a passion, I love to see Alana learn and grow every day. Helping her reach her daily goals is the best feeling in the world and seeing her laugh makes my day. I am overflowing with pride and joy that I was able to potty train Alana. This was something the family thought would never happen. Whether it is trying to pedal her bike, our crazy Zumba dances, teaching her to run, or singing so many songs a day and laughing till our tummy’s hurt, we definitely have had the most fun this past nine months. I am excited to see what else we can do, stay tuned, there is definitely much more to come.
MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY EXPERIENCE
What don’t I love about being an au pair? Nothing! There are only advantages. From traveling around America, seeing new cultural traditions, celebrating new holidays, trying new foods (America does have the best hamburgers!) As well as learning how to be independent and experience life in a different way than what I was used to. At the end of the day, the best part is spending time with Alana and making her happy. I have learned there are so many ways to love and care. This experience has made me a stronger, more self-confident woman and has helped me know myself better.
PURSUING MY PASSION
I have found my true self and passion these past months, a priceless gift. When I go back home I am going to open my own therapeutic practice for children with special needs focusing on the improvement of their gross and fine motor skills. I will also focus on their physical development and work hard so that they can reach milestone goals.
I truly believe I was put on this earth to work with children with special needs and make their lives the best that they can be. My dream is to help them and their families believe that they can do everything and even more than they aspire to. Thank you for this opportunity, it has definitely changed my life for good.
OUR AU PAIR OF THE YEAR
To finish off this heart-warming story, we have a few words from Elaine, Rozelle’s host mom. ⬇️
“On a cold day in March we skyped with Rozelle and we just knew she would be a perfect fit for our family. We had no idea she would become “Super Au Pair” surpassing all caregivers before her! 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. We pray every day that she can extend her stay with us. As 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 honour.”