Local Rep Q&A
What was your motivation to become a local rep?
I was previously an au pair, twice… When I learned that there was such a thing as a local representative, I knew I wanted to be one to ensure that all au pairs and host parents were able to have a rewarding experience while in the program. -- Jamie Jarmon, Washington, DC
I love helping young adults travel with a purpose and conquer their environment. -- Elisa 'Sasa' Southard, San Francisco, CA
I stay home with my two young kids, and I was looking for a flexible but rewarding part time job. I used to work for a university advising undergraduate students, including many international students. So working with au pairs uses many of the same skills I developed in that job. -- Carly Grennes, Indianapolis, IN
What has been the most rewarding part of being a local rep?
The most rewarding thing is being able to learn more about other cultures and outlooks on life. I feel like being a local rep has allowed me to become more well-rounded. -- Jamie Jarmon, Washington, DC
Seeing au pairs mature, master their fears and explore the country -- Elisa 'Sasa' Southard, San Francisco, CA
I love my monthly meetings with my au pairs! Getting to see them grow and thrive here in Indianapolis has been so fun and rewarding for me. It's also great to see the love and bonds they develop with their host family, especially the kids. -- Carly Grennes, Indianapolis, IN
What is your biggest responsibility as a local rep?
My biggest responsibility is ensuring that the au pairs and their host families are adhering to the US State Department regulations. However, I also feel compelled to ensure that the au pairs are able to learn as much about our culture and customs for as long as they are in the program. -- Jamie Jarmon, Washington, DC
Making sure both au pairs and families understand their options -- Elisa 'Sasa' Southard, San Francisco, CA
I feel a large sense of responsibility to help new au pairs adjust to life here in the US and in Indy, especially during their first few months. I know if they can get over the initial culture shock and homesickness they are more likely to have a good program year. -- Carly Grennes, Indianapolis, IN
If you were an au pair coming to your city, what would you most want to see and do?
...I would say going to the local rock climbing/ice skating complex would be interesting to do. However, since I am in close proximity to the National Harbor, I would highly recommend that area for the food, stores and festivities. -- Jamie Jarmon, Washington, DC
Explore the California coast from San Francisco to San Diego, experience every SF neighborhood for its food and diversity -- Elisa 'Sasa' Southard, San Francisco, CA
There are so many great things to do in downtown Indianapolis! My cluster has already gone to the zoo, art museum, and a minor league baseball game. We also have the largest children's museum in the world. -- Carly Grennes, Indianapolis, IN
As a local rep, what is one thing you wish your au pairs knew?
I wish my au pairs knew that they should not take things personally and if there is a problem, they should talk about it instead of harboring it inside... As a local rep, I can give you recommendations and be a shoulder to lean on, but your experience ultimately depends on what you put into it. -- Jamie Jarmon, Washington, DC
That they may have to earn their way into the family to be totally considered part of the family -- Elisa 'Sasa' Southard, San Francisco, CA
I wish my au pairs knew ahead of time how tiring it is taking care of kids all day! That is probably the number one thing I hear that surprises them- how tired they are at the end of every day. As a mom of two young kids, I can completely relate. -- Carly Grennes, Indianapolis, IN
As a local rep, what is one thing you wish your hosts knew?
I understand you have busy lives and have things to do outside of being in this program. I am a parent and have a full-time job too. It would be really helpful if you would just make time for me to ask a few questions once a month. -- Jamie Jarmon, Washington, DC
The cultural gap may be wider than they expect. -- Elisa 'Sasa' Southard, San Francisco, CA