Local Coordinator Of the Month

February 2023

Sonya Lucki
Laurel, NY
After receiving my undergraduate degree from Indiana University, I worked in corporate HR for NBC, Discovery and Estee Lauder in New York City.  A move to the North Fork of Long Island, a shift into Auto Sales and 3 kids later, the au pair world found its way into my life as a flexible childcare solution.  Looking for a way to leverage my HR background and help families with their childcare needs,  the local coordinator seemed like a great solution!  I have hosted 4 au pairs and have been an LC now for 1.5 years supporting on average 5 au pairs at a time. The cultural exchange component is really fascinating to me and I feel you never stop learning when you enhance your life with people from other background. 

January 2023

Andrea Ofiara
Greenville, NY

I was born on Long Island, NY, lived in several parts of Florida during my late childhood and early adulthood, and currently live in Greenville, NY, which is in upstate New York and is considered the Gateway to the Catskill Mountains. As an undergraduate, I completed a Minor in Spanish, which included a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. Every since then, I have had an interest in cultural exchange and extraordinary compassion for people adjusting to new cultures and countries. Professionally, I became a school psychologist after I completed my graduate degrees in Curriculum and Instruction and School Psychology. I worked as a school psychologist in public schools in Florida and New York through 2014, when I became a stay-at-home mom. As my daughter transitions into high school and I transition back into the working world, I have been so fortunate to become an LC with Agent Au Pair! It feels like I am rediscovering old passions from my younger years. I also have started a freelancing business doing proofreading, editing, and writing – another interest from my child and teen years. I have been married to my husband Chad, a marketing and public relations professional, for 20 years, and we share a 14-year-old daughter, who we homeschool. We also have one dog and two cats. My hobbies include exploring upstate New York, reading, gardening, skincare, and winter activities (I love cold weather and snow!). 

December 2022

Luisa Avellino
Las Vegas, NV

Hello, Im Luisa Avellino. I’m originally  From Colombia.  I received my bachelor degree in science in psychology in Colombia, I’ve been in Las Vegas for almost 15 Years.  I am Married and we have a beautiful daughter,  we love to travel and go camping but especially spend days at the beach. I’m a wife, a mom,  a realtor, an entrepreneur  and a local coordinator in Las Vegas, little bit about me, I was an Au Pair in 2008, and having a great coordinator at that time was a key for me to have a really successful au pair year. 

November 2022

Emily Back
Buffalo, NY

I currently live in Buffalo, NY with my dog Jackson. I am the epitome of a “dog mom”. I love traveling, photography, and watching hockey- Go Sabres! I’ve been supporting the Buffalo/Rochester region with Agent Au Pair since October of 2021. While studying for my master’s degree in higher education, I found myself as a graduate assistant in an English Language Center and that kick-started my journey in international education. After finishing my degree, I moved abroad and was an Au Pair in France for one year. I stayed another year in Paris working for a tour company. I previously studied abroad in London for a few months as well! I believe that international education and cross-cultural exchanges are so important. Being a Local Coordinator has allowed me to meet and get to know so many wonderful au pairs and host families and learn so much from them. I applied for the LC position because I struggled during my year as an Au Pair and would have loved to have a support system to help me for that time. I wanted to be that person to help everyone have a great experience for their time in the program (and hopefully even after!).

October 2022

Kate Brimmer
New York, NY

Growing up, we had a busy lifestyle with two sisters and two full time working parents! We decided to apply for an Au Pair and it totally changed our lives for the better. Anna, our German Au Pair, quickly became a part of the family and someone to look up to. We still keep in contact to this day and we loved our time with her. This experience made me fall in love with this program and I love having the ability to help others have the amazing experience I had growing up. I recently graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre and have always loved connecting with others. This role not only allows me to form these connections, but also help instrument connections between others that can make everyone’s lives fuller. It excites me to watch host families and Au Pairs grow, learn from one another, and create a bond that can last for years! I am so grateful to be a part of the team here at Agent Au Pair.

September 2022

Fatima Sayonara Perez Cortes
Columbus, OH

My name is Fatima, I am a plant and cat’s lover from a town in the mountains of Hidalgo, Mexico. I have a degree in Marketing and a master’s degree in Business Administration. I came to Ohio seven years ago as an Au pair and had an incredible experience, my host dad always told me, “Enjoy because this will be the job you love the most in your life”. And of course, he didn’t lie. Currently, I work at a Bank in the Foreign Exchange department, don’t take me wrong. I love my job but being an Au Pair shaped my life and took a different turn, I found love, new friends, family, and now I call Columbus home. I like meeting people with different backgrounds, I’m not good at cooking but I enjoy different cuisines. A year ago, talking to my friends, they encouraged me to apply for an LC position. Since then, I have been supporting Families and AP, I like this position because I feel that I can make a difference and make  me feel great..

August 2022

Alicia Kravies
Manchester, CT
I am from a small town in Connecticut, and growing up I always dreamed of moving away and traveling. I got the opportunity to do that in 2018 when I became an au pair in the south of France. Although I was only there for 3 months, I still think about my time there and how it shaped me to be who I am today! It also helped me get this job as a Local Coordinator! I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in psychology with a focus in mental health counseling. I always knew that I wanted to help people, and that is exactly what I am doing. I am a full time ABA instructor at a school that specializes in autistic children, and I get to help people from all over the world on the side! Although I still have many dreams and aspirations to travel around the world, I am pretty happy right now with where my life is in Manchester, CT living with my boyfriend & our 2 cats!

July 2022

Shadder Lim
Tampa, FL
I was born and raised in one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines, I migrated to the United States after finishing my bachelors degree in fine arts majoring in advertising. I was based in Virginia when I first got here then moved to Florida with my 2-year old son. Florida reminds me a lot of my first home, the sunshine and the beach most especially. I love going to the beach and I love to travel, my goal is to travel to a different place or country at least once a year if possible. I am currently working at a home health agency, I joined the agent au pair family in August 2021, It has been such an honor to be able to support au pairs and host families for almost a year now and many more years to come. It excites me to see au pairs grow, exchange culture and build healthy relationships with their host families and new found friends. Being a local coordinator allows me to connect to beautiful people from around the world and learn from them as well, I hope one day, I get to see a Filipino au pair joining the family too! I am happy to be part of a very supportive and helpful team. 

June 2022

Elaine Brantley
Fort Worth, TX
I currently live in Fort Worth with my partner, Steve, and our cat Dynah in an apartment that we remodeled in 2021. I studied French and linguistics at SFA in the Piney Woods, despite the fact that I am allergic to piney woods. A favorite quotation of mine is: “Not all who wander are lost” (JRR Tolkien). Growing up in Texas, I was always wanting to leave the state and travel – this lead me to studying abroad in France during college and then to being an au pair in China in 2016. After I returned to Texas, I became a flight attendant and would take day trips with Steve to try restaurants around the country that we discovered on YouTube. The travel bug never left – it grew stronger! What I’ve loved most about all of my travels and experiences has been getting to meet so many people from all over the world and having the privilege to be immersed in their cultures, customs, and communities. I’ve been fortunate to wander far and wide and even close to home, creating memories and experiences to last a lifetime. 
I had such a wonderful experience in Hangzhou, China, that I wanted to share it and help others have a positive au pair experience, too! Working as an LC with Agent Au Pair continues to give me the opportunity to connect with others and be able to offer and encourage amazing experiences like ones I have had!

May 2022

Anna Romans
Shawnee, KS
I live in the suburbs of Kansas City and have been here for the past four years with my husband and two daughters. I spent the past fifteen years moving around for education and jobs and found myself in Nebraska, Texas, Massachusetts, and Michigan. During that time I spent two semesters in Berlin, Germany and two months at a language school in Costa Rica. I have my masters in sociology and spent many years working in healthcare research and data management.
In January 2020 I decided to leave my job and search for something part-time so I could spend more time with my daughters. Little did I know the world would shut down a month later. I’ve since been home with them but was really wanting to find a job that I could do without changing their current school situation. I was so excited when I learned about Agent Au Pair. It combines my love of building relationships and meeting people from around the world with a really great flexible schedule. Having lived with many host families during my travels I felt that I could relate well to the au pairs in addition to the families here needing reliable childcare. When I’m not working or chasing my kids around I enjoy watching soccer, hiking, cooking, biking, and reading. 

April 2022

Samantha Thomas
Fort Lauderdale, FL

I have been a Local Coordinator with Agent Au Pair since July 2021 supporting host families and au pairs in Florida. For the last 10 years, I have immersed myself in cross-cultural experiences around the world, both professionally and personally. I have worked internationally in several different industries, and I have spent a significant amount of my free time traveling to new countries, experiencing new places and meeting new people. 

I love the au pair program, because it is a great way to incorporate different cultures, foods and experiences into your family while also having the opportunity to share those things about your family with your au pair. When I was looking for childcare for my own family, I knew the au pair program was an experience I wanted our family to be a part of. I became a Local Coordinator because I wanted to help au pairs and host families have the best program experience possible. As a mother and host mom myself, I am passionate about helping host families and au pairs navigate the au pair program and offering any support I can.  

March 2022

Ruth Lyons
Orono, ME
As a school principal, my school used Renzulli Learning which was my first introduction to the LPI family. When I moved to Maine, I stayed in touch with the company and continued to use Renzulli Learning at my new school. It was during my time in Maine when I was contacted by Agent Au Pair. I was a local coordinator before the pandemic and then took a break when my children were born. I am happy to be back with the company as a local coordinator and teacher for Au Pair School. As an avid traveller, being an LC is a great fit as this position allows me to interact with young people from all over the world. I love being able to help Au Pairs experience Maine. My background is in education and educational leadership. I was a teacher, school principal and district administrator. Currently, I am a curriculum coordinator for an international private school. I have three young children who like to keep me on my toes. We are an active family and love to be outdoors.

February 2022

Paige Woods
Madison, AL

I’ve been a local coordinator with Agent Au Pair since June 2021 and I serve the state of Alabama. My background is in higher education administration, specifically with new student and parent and family programming, so I have lots of experience working with young adults and parents. My family moved to Alabama in 2020 for my husband’s job, just before the pandemic began, so I was looking for a way to work with these populations while also continuing to serve as the primary caregiver for my elementary-aged son when I stumbled across the LC position. I love the LC position because it’s given me an opportunity to learn more about Alabama and connected me with people from a variety of countries. I enjoy meeting with the au pairs each month to learn more about them and the customs/traditions in their home countries while also teaching them about the background behind many US customs and holidays. In a couple of months, our group is going to have a virtual talent show, and I can’t wait! Some of my hobbies include knitting, quilting, traveling, wine, and coffee. I’m originally from Virginia, but I’ve lived in many states in the southeastern US. In addition to being mom to my son, I’m also mom to two cats and a self-proclaimed “cat lady.”

January 2022

Marely Kermis
Gastonia, NC

I grew up in a small town called cuatro Cienegas, it’s in the north of Mexico. I have my bachelor degree in international trade. I was an au pair in 2018, after my au pair program I was a nanny for a few months. I had the opportunity to apply to be an LC, it has been so interesting and great position. I’ve been able to understand even more the program and help both, host families and au pair to have a good year. I like to make them feel they are supported. Each family and au pair are different and seeing how they can learn from each other cultures and share values is amazing! Right now I got a new job as an export specialist for a logistics company, I’m also working on my small business all that while I’m expecting my first baby! Quite a journey! I like traveling, explore new places and see the beauty that Mother Earth gives us!

December 2021

Maitreyee Mopalwar
Berkley Heights, NJ

I completed my masters in immigration law and was searching for an Au Pair for our family when I stumbled across the opportunity to become an LC with Agent Au Pair. It was the best decision I ever took to join this wonderful team. As an LC in New Jersey I have had the previledge to interact with many of our wonderful host families and Au Pairs from around the world. Supporting them thru their program year has taught me how different each paring can be. I admire the strength of the young men and woman who leave their families behind to learn about a whole new culture in a country thousands of miles away. It has been a previledge and an honor to support them thru their journey and see them blossom into self-sufficient adults. We too will be welcoming an Au Pair from the agency to our home soon and are very excited to be Hosts! I hope to have many more years as a team member at Agent Au Pair and continue being a part of this wonderful program.

October 2021

Samantha Niziolek
Chicago, IL

I am a licensed professional counselor. I LIVE for connecting with others. I find that the one thing that being a local rep for Agent Au Pair has in common with being a counselor is the ability to connect with others regardless of one’s background. I find that at our very core, we are all the same. We want to be heard and valued and most importantly feel and give love. I decided to pursue becoming a local rep because I LOVED the idea of supporting families and au pairs as they merge their lives together. I believe in whole heartedly the purpose of welcoming an au pair into your home. I find so many of the au pairs to be so brave in traveling so far to take on an adventure! It is so admirable to me. My favorite part of being a local rep is learning about each family and au pair, they are all so unique and special! I’m a mom, wife, sister, homeowner, daughter and counselor and a LOCAL REP for Agent AuPair. I love all that I do and all that I have created. My role as a local rep has reminded me to slow down in life, take chances and to see the beauty in humanity. I also have two senior dogs. Some other fun facts about me- is I’ve gone skydiving twice, and one time I actually traveled through a cloud, it was so cool!

September 2021

Saida Harpi
Philadelphia, PA

Hi! My name is Saida Harpi, I am a Philadelphia native, and happy to be a part of the Agent Au Pair Family. I used to be an English teacher in South Korea and continued to teach English in South Philadelphia. I am now in graduate school studying Learning Sciences, and Technology. I am very passionate about advancing education systems to be more inclusive and equitable. I was drawn to Agent Au Pair because of the educational and work opportunities it affords young women and men globally. I was very excited to be a helpful hand in such an exciting journey. Beyond my work with Agent Au Pair, I enjoy reading fiction, playing board games (I take them quite seriously), and travelling. I also have a love for nail art, I always have something fun and creative done with my nails!

August 2021

Dana Alshouse
Denver, CO

Halfway through college, I was ready to go on an adventure. With more time than money, I decided to get a job as an Au Pair in Norway. My Grandfather had immigrated to the US from Norway and I still had family there that I wanted to meet. I had a very positive experience living with my host family. Their beautiful house had been the family home since before WW2 and was located on an island off the coast, but still within a 30 minute bus ride to Bergen.  My first friend in Norway was a woman my age who was a cousin of my host family. I have wonderful memories of our time and travels together around Norway. Back then there wasn’t local support for Au Pairs, but I had been given a list of other Au Pairs in Norway and my host mother encouraged me to call someone from the list to meet for coffee in Bergen. I called the only other English speaker and that is how I met a woman from Australia who is still one of my favorite people in the world. In fact, right Before Covid, I had taken my husband and three kiddos to Australia to spend Christmas with her family. A year before our trip to Australia, I had taken my family back to Norway to visit the cousin’s family and three of the four boys I had Au Pair’d for 20+ years ago. Of course, they all towered over me and the age difference now didn’t seem so great. Since that year in Norway, I spent another year living in Australia and I’ve taken my young family on a handful of month-long trips to different countries. I highly recommend being an Au Pair as a way to get out into the world for the first time. 

It was the friendships that came out of my year in Norway that motivated me to be a Local Rep for Agent Au Pair. I enjoy the relationships with and between my Au Pairs. I can relate to so many of their feelings and I value the support we offer them. I grew up in Alaska and in the Seattle area. Currently, I live in Denver, Colorado, with my husband, our 12.5 year old twin daughters, and our six year old son. I’m in my second year of graduate school working towards a Masters in Instructional Design. I love to travel, read, spend time with friends and be in the mountains.

July 2021

Alaina Schaefer
Saint Paul, MN

My name is Alaina and I am originally from a small town in Wisconsin. I studied Communications at the University of Minnesota and spent time abroad in Italy and Thailand while in college. After college, I was an Au Pair for a summer near Milan, Italy. Coming back to the United States, I decided to stay in Minnesota to pursue a Master’s program in School Counseling. Currently, I live in Saint Paul and work at an elementary school while I study to become a School Counselor.

I was drawn to the position as a Local Rep simply because I missed working with people from around the world. It is very valuable for me to be able to connect with others who have different backgrounds than me. I also wanted to support both Au Pairs and families together because I had an understanding of what that communication was like when I was an Au Pair.   

In my spare time you’ll find me reading, trying out new coffee shops, eating ice cream, and taking walks around the many lakes in the Twin Cities. I also love going on trips and seeing new places, and am always looking to plan my next adventure. Attached are some pictures of me and some of my favorite adventures–hiking in Colorado and paragliding in the Swiss Mountains!

June 2021

Marisa Santos
Issaquah, WA

Since I was young, my dream was to travel around the world and meet new places, people, and cultures. So after I graduated as a Psychologist in Spain, I decided it was time to have a break and start traveling. I did travel around some countries in Europe but I wanted to learn more about America and I came here. I ended up in Seattle as an au pair. My 1.5 years as an au pair were fantastic. My host family was ideal, I made great friends, I traveled around the country, I learned English. I was so in love with the city and life I built then I stayed. Now I have a wonderful family here. I have. 2.5 years old son and a great husband from Venezuela. Our journey here it’s being a blessing and everything started when I decided to come here.

I think the fact that I am a former au pair but I am also a mother, makes me capable with the Local Rep role as I can understand both sides of the placement. I emphasize a lot with the au pairs and try to help them as much as I can with the first months homesickness. I also love to hear from them and their cultures because I always learn with them. Families are really helpful and I really appreciate how patient they are during the whole process. 

This position gave me the opportunity to learn from families and au pairs better. I love to work with all of them and it feels awesome every time someone tells me I do a good job and I helped them. 

May 2021

Ophelie Cohen
Portland, OR

I was born and raised in a small town in France. I studied tourism and was a tour guide and front desk at a wine museum. In 2016, I decided to become an Au Pair in the USA. I lived with the same family in California for 2 years and was taking care of twin boys. We are still in contact and see each other regularly , I’m so happy to have become their auntie now 🙂 During my years as an Au Pair, I met my now-husband and we moved to Portland, Oregon after living in Los Angeles for over a year. I am now a Preschool teacher and I love it!

I wanted to become a Local Representative as soon as I decided to stay in the US. I wanted to be able to help Au Pairs and Host families to have the best experience they could have, just like I did. I was so happy to be hired by Agent Au Pair in December 2019. The agency really cares about them and has the same goals as I have : create great matches and be there for them! Since I’ve been there I can truly relate to the Au Pairs experience and give them advice . My favorite part is getting to know all the cultures from my Au Pair group and help them get great memories and discover American culture. 

My hobbies are going on a hike, doing crafts, reading, dancing , and exploring new places.

April 2021

Rebecca Andvik
Mandan, ND

I spent most of my life in Wisconsin, and moved around a bit until I met my husband. We lived our first years in Florida, before moving to North Dakota, my husband’s home state. I enjoy spending time with our families and friends. We are aunt and uncle to 16 nieces and nephews, and love spending time with them all.  Some of my other favorite things are hiking, traveling, and running. One of my biggest moments of determination was completing a marathon, despite an injury causing me to compete in crutches. I also have a love of languages and education which led me to my position. I currently work as an elementary English Learner Specialist. 

I started with Agent Au Pair in November of 2019, and was excited for the opportunity to work with au pairs and the host families in the community. I love helping both parties communicate and grow together from their experiences. I look forward to our monthly meetings where we can come together as a group and share stories and memories that they are making. It is also great for me to be able to converse in Spanish and English, making the girls feel more at home. I cannot wait to grow in this position as I continue to build relationships with my current and future au pairs and their families.

March 2021

Cynthia Wingood
Frederick, MD

I am Cindi Wingood and I am a homeschooling mom to three girls.  We are a very outdoor, on the go family and all three of my girls dance, so we are always moving.  Our family loves to spend time together at church, hiking and camping and playing games. When I’m not teaching or driving the kids around, I run my own clothing business.  I love to sew and really enjoy sharing that with others.

 A little more than two years ago, I was looking for another way to bring in money for our family, without compromising on the time I spend with my kids.  A good friend told me about her work with Agent Au Pair, and I signed right up!  I have a masters degree in early childhood education, with a special education add on, and I have loved sharing my knowledge with the families and Au Pairs I have worked with in the last two years.  It has been fun to meet young women from all over the world and to learn along with them how different our cultures can be!  I also really enjoy sharing the American Culture with others-and living in Maryland so close to D.C. has made it even more fun with my Au Pairs!  I am looking forward to the day we can once again get together, and I can share the amazing history all around us with more Au Pairs from around the world.

February 2021

Deborah Goglia
Westchester, NY

I am very excited to work with Agent Au Pair and help au pairs and host families have a wonderful experience. I went from being an au pair to being a host mom and now a local representative. I never imagined that this program would take me this far. I came to the USA with the goal of improving my English as a second language. But the au pair experience gave me so much more than that. I gained a deeper understanding of both myself and other cultures. I feel like the world has expanded for me.

 I hold my Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Business Administration with a major in Sales and Trade Marketing. I used to work as a manager in a Language school in Brazil, my home country. I have more than 10 years of experience working with kids as a teacher and caregiver.  I was engaged as a volunteer in a non-profit organization and programs at my local church, guiding the children’s department and youth group. I recently received a certification as an independent Self Direction broker to help families and /or individuals with developmental disabilities to design and manage services through a plan/budget based on their needs and goals. I am a native Portuguese speaker with advanced Spanish skills. 

Today I live in northern Westchester, NY with my husband, my two kids, Antonio (5y) and Isabela (3y) and our au pair, Araxi. One of my favorite things to do is dancing with my kids. My new favorite hobby during this pandemic is hiking the local trails and nature preserves near my house. I don’t watch much tv but I do love series “This Is Us”. I am trying to be a vegetarian but it is so hard to replace the dairy products in the Brazilian desserts that sometimes I cannot resist. I love a challenge and I believe that every adversity leads to new opportunities and possibilities.

January 2021

Jennifer Seyfried
Austin, TX

My name is Jennifer Von Seyfried and I live in Austin, Texas with my 7 year old son. I was fortunate enough to join Agent Au Pair in October 2018 and have loved being a part of this community of au pairs and host families. I also work at the University of Texas, Austin in the Child Development Center as a preschool teacher. I have worked with children for almost 15 years now. 

I love working at Agent Au Pair because it combines several of my interests along with building meaningful connections to others. I get to utilize my passion for travel and appreciation of other cultures through my relationship with au pairs as well as my passion for education and child development through guiding families and au pairs as they navigate this unique form of childcare.

Some of my hobbies include indoor bouldering, art, baking and traveling. I also love to explore my own city with my son especially trying new restaurants and spending the summers visiting the various swimming holes and rivers.

June 2020

Amanda White
Encinitas, CA

I was born and raised in San Diego. After leaving for other parts of California for university and work, including two years as a nanny, I came back to live and work in early education, social services, and small business. My husband and I began hosting international high school and college students in our home ten years ago. We’ve hosted over two dozen. Some students stay for one week; others have stayed for four years. I enjoy showing off our city and learning and sharing different cultures. My position as a Local Rep fits perfectly with this, and I’ve been with Agent Au Pair since 2015. I like being a resource for Au Pairs and host families, seeing their lives change and grow, and helping them reach their goals. I admire the risks the students and Au Pairs take to come to a new country to work and study.

I enjoy spending time with my husband and dogs. We like to travel, go to concerts and entertain. Friends and family have been the recipients of many successful and failed creations I’ve cooked up in my kitchen. I enjoy reading and writing and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard almost every day. Sometimes it’s just a couple of sentences in my calendar, sometimes pages and pages on various subjects, for my husbands’ digital marketing clients. In my life, I’ve taken a few risks. The most significant and meaningful is the day I called my local radio station asking for help to find a British guy I happen to sit next to at a concert a few days earlier. It paid off, and the DJ found him and connected us. I like to think that I just wanted to show him around San Diego, knowing he had just moved to the city a couple of months earlier. In reality, if you believe in love at first sight, it must have been. We just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary.

May 2020

Brittany Motes
Portland, CT

I grew up in Western New York, and moved around a little before settling in Connecticut. I love to travel, adding new countries and places to my list whenever possible. I taught elementary school for over ten years in a variety of positions. I currently live in Central Connecticut with my husband, our two children, our Au Pair Sofia, our two cats, and our dog.  Some of my favorite non-shelter in place hobbies include swing dancing, visiting museums and aquariums with my children, and spending time with friends and family. My favorite shelter-in-place activities have included hiking on trails, crocheting, cooking and learning new dishes, and tending to my vegetable garden. 

I started with Agent Au Pair in 2018 and was drawn to the position because I was interested in connecting with Au Pairs and Host Families. I love being able to be a resource for Au Pairs navigating a new environment and I enjoy helping them find things to do in our area. My favorite part about the Au Pair program is that Au Pairs and Host Families have a chance to experience new cultures and learn about new traditions. As a Local Representative and now a Host Mom I get the best of both worlds! Our own Au Pair is sharing some amazing traditions from her home country of Argentina.

April 2020

Elisa “Sasa” Southard
Benicia, CA

Working with Agent Au Pair has enriched my life. Looking back to how I arrived gives me pause. Curiosity. Culture. Community. These lifelong interests emerged from growing up in a large, French Italian family in Brooklyn, New York. Dad was my inspiration. As a teen, he traveled from Quebec to New York. He passed on to me what it took to learn a new language and embrace a new city. He also set a tone of volunteerism. In my personal time, I love to volunteer, to learn languages, to share meals and to experience cultures. I recently received my Italian citizenship and EU passport.

As an adolescent, I had always dreamed of living in San Francisco. I completed college here and have lived in the Bay Area my entire adult life with my “Jersey boy” husband and our four-legged children. As a Certified Tour Director, prior to Agent au Pair, I served students. I led busloads of undergraduates on six-to-eight-day tours of our nation’s storied cities. We sang, snacked and absorbed history from Washington DC to New York in the east and San Francisco to San Diego in the west. Along the way, the maturity and creativity I witnessed each day deepened my desire to help young adults travel and immerse in culture.

Opportunity appeared. About a decade ago, a friend with Agent Au Pair relocated to the east coast. I jumped in, attracted by the chance to assist families and to assure au pairs that, as songwriter James Taylor sang, “You’ve got a friend.” As a Local Rep, what excites me most is the monthly meetings where we connect and I encourage the au pairs to achieve their goals, the dreams that drew them to America.

March 2020

Susanne Chabara
Tampa, FL
I am a global nomad, although I have been calling Tampa, FL, home for the past six years. My husband and I have lived and worked all over the world and we decided to move back to the US after our first son was born in Argentina. We continued to move in the US and had our second son in New Jersey and our third in Georgia. Then we got the travel bug again and relocated overseas for five years. All this time, I was teaching English as a second language and loved meeting and helping people from all over the world. 
I got my Master’s in Education from the University of Tampa and, after teaching there, realized that my students needed more than a teacher. I opened my own company and have been helping people relocating to the Tampa Bay area since. I joined Agent AuPair in January 2019 and was very excited to help both the Aupairs and the local families. It’s been an incredible experience and I am happy to see the program grow so quickly. My host families are wonderful, compassionate and resourceful, with adorable children. My Aupairs are strong and smart women and I look forward to our monthly meetings to catch up on all their new experiences and see their personal growth. 
I love spending time with my boys, meeting new people and I love my work. I enjoy being outdoors and having a great time; whether at an event or in a kayak. Great food, great books and new adventures are always a treat I can’t resist. If you come to Tampa – we are only an hour from Disney – I would love to connect.

February 2020

Aynara Racolto
Atlanta, GA

I was born and raised in Brazil but I moved to the United States back in January of 2012 as an Au Pair. I spend two years with my host family and after meeting my husband I decided to stay in the United States. I completely understand what is to be a expat living in the US. I currently work full time as an account manager for a raw material company based in Atlanta but with plants all over the world and I am also a student a Georgia State University. I’m currently pursuing Business Administration.

I have decided to work as a Local Coordinator and support Agent Au Pair, because when I was an Au Pair back in 2012 and 2013 with a different agency I couldn’t barely count on my own Local Coordinator. I had several friends that had issues and didn’t have the support they needed from their agencies, so I wanted to be the support to other girls that I never had. I love the Agent Au Pair care for both their Au Pairs and Host Families equally. My favorite part of being a Local Coordinator is to get to know families from different cultures and learn from both the Au Pair and Host Families. I also love seeing the host families perspective about hosting an Au Pair, a completely stranger that in the end of the program will be part of your family forever.

My hobbies are trying new foods, traveling, watching movies and listening to music and spending time with my friend but since I work full time and go to school, at the moment I do not have much time to enjoy my hobbies.

January 2020

Carly Grennes
Indianapolis, In

I grew up in Hershey, PA, went to college in Virginia, and graduate school in Ohio. My Master’s degree is in Higher Education, and I’ve spent all of my professional career working at universities, mostly in admissions and academic advising. I live in Indianapolis, IN with my husband and two young kids, and our cat.

I left my job at the university after my younger child turned 1, but I was always interested in finding a part time job to do while I stayed home with my kids. I heard about the Local Rep position from a local host family here in Indy. I was interested in the role because I always loved working with young adults and international students in my previous jobs. Plus, as a mom I understand how hard it can be to find good childcare. So I figured as a local rep I could blend all of those interests and experiences.

I’ve been a local rep since January, and I really love it! My favorite part is monthly meetings with my cluster of au pairs. We have done so many things around the city.

December 2019

Hande Demir-Neilan
Huntington, NY

I started working with Agent Au Pair as a Local Rep on the beginning of 2019.

Coming to the United States from a different country sounds like a very cool idea, however, it has all these ups and downs. Living with people you didn’t know before, a language that you cannot speak very well, can be very frustrating and stressful and I have been there! Six years ago, when I came to NY from Turkey for the first time, I was an au pair as well.  I`m very familiar with the feelings that all the au pairs and even the families go through at some point during their year. I like helping both sides and making things work for them, to be the person that au pairs can talk to when they really need to talk with someone who can empathize with them.

Working as a local rep is giving back to the community for me and I like it very much. Meeting with new people from all around the world feeds me. When not working for Agent Au Pair you can find me crocheting and gardening.

November 2019

Lucia Breckon
Long Beach, CA

In 2013, I came to this country to experience what was a wonderful cultural exchange as an Au Pair with Agent Au Pair. Some of the moments I came across with during this experience were wonderful and some not so good, but through it all, Agent Au Pair and my Local Reps were there to support me and help me.

Almost two years ago, I became a Local Representative with Agent Au Pair in Seattle, WA to give back and share my knowledge as a former Au Pair. I know what it means to be in a new country with a different culture, language, and customs. Living with a new family, trying to make new friends and dealing with different problems that can arise from this experience can be very stressful and overwhelming for the parties involved. Having encountered these issues before, I feel that I can relate to the Au Pairs and Host Families and guide them through this transition.

Earlier this year, I took a few months off to travel around Southeast Asia (I love traveling) and I have settled back my Local Rep duties after relocating to Long Beach, CA. My favorite part about being a Local Rep is to be that person that APs can trust. That person with who they can open up about their problems, and know that they will be heard and understood because that person has been in their shoes and can relate to them.

September 2019

Lynda Murad
Roslindale, MA
I love meeting people from other countries and learning about their cultures.
I also wanted to provide support to Au Pairs during their time here in the U.S.

August 2019

Liz Manus
Washington DC
When I joined Agent Au Pair in 2018 I wasn’t totally sure of my role as a local representative but I liked the idea of having the opportunity to develop relationships and help people from around the world. A year later, I like how flexible is the local representative position, the opportunity to mentor the au pairs and support the host families.
Furthermore, I really appreciate the cultural exchanges with these young women from different parts of the world, learning about their families and friends, their comfort foods, their traditions like the Santabary food and dance festival in Madagascar to give thanks for the rice harvest, the sport and music in England or La Pascua processions in Colombia. In turn when the au pairs often asked questions about me it has been always fun to share my hobbies, tell them about my cooking, dancing to Caribbean music, my love for soccer (football for the aficionados), tennis and mystery books. As an Agent Au Pair local representative, it has been a fun and gratifying year!