Professional Au Pair from PROaupair Wins IAPA 2016 Au Pair of the Year Award

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Robert Isemer, a 27-year-old German professional au pair with PROaupair who spent the last year caring for Alex, a 10-year-old boy with special needs, has won the 12th annual Au Pair of the Year Award from the International Au Pair Association.

IAPA Au Pair of the Year award winner Robert Isemer and (from l to r) PROaupair Host Mom Allison Thurman, PROaupair Executive Vice President Heidi Mispagel and IAPA Chair Delphine Vaills

"I’m so honored to have been selected as IAPA’s au pair of the year,” said Robert. “My time in the U.S. has been amazing. Normal travel can’t compare with the unique experience I’ve had being a professional au pair."

PROaupair, the only au pair agency specializing in live-in professional childcare, is pleased to announce that Robert Isemer, one of it’s professional au pairs from Germany, has been selected as the International Au Pair Association’s (IAPA’s) Au Pair of the Year. IAPA announced the winner on March 20th at the organization’s annual Work Experience Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference (WETM-IAC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

“We are thrilled that Robert has been selected as IAPA’s Au Pair of the Year,” said Susan Asay, founder and CEO of PROaupair. “The Thurman family’s experience with Robert demonstrates the professionalism, kindness, empathy, and care that are the hallmarks of our professional au pair program, especially for host families who have children with special needs.”

Robert, a 27-year-old with a degree in sports medicine and early childhood education, spent a year living with the Thurman family of Ashland, Virginia – including parents Alan and Allison, grandmother Lyn and 10-year-old Alex, an active boy with autism and a rare syndrome known as oculodentodigital dysplasia (ODDD).

“Our family’s au pair, Robert Isemer, epitomizes the perfect au pair in so many ways,” said the Thurman family. “Robert was instrumental in providing natural support for Alex to be an active part of family, school, and community. Robert researched methodologies and implemented them to modify Alex’s curriculum so Alex could better participate in the general education classroom, versus in a segregated setting. Robert taught Alex many life skills, such as independently fastening a seat belt, putting on his socks and shoes, and bathing. Alex has frequent medical issues and Robert supported him while preserving Alex’s pride and dignity.”

To read the Thurman’s full essay, please visit https://proaupair.com/about-us/proaupair-of-the-year.

Since his return to Germany several months ago, Robert has been working with the German Red Cross to help recently arrived Syrian refugee families and their children. Robert’s time in the U.S. – living and working with people from a different culture and background – has provided him with unique skills that he is now putting to work in his home country.

According to IAPA, the award (now in its 12th year) provides au pairs the recognition and credit they deserve and at the same time enhances the public’s awareness of the unique cultural exchange program and the mutual benefits that it provides both au pairs and American host families. IAPA’s executive board members conducted a blind review of host family essays before selected the three finalists, and ultimately, the winner.

“I’m so honored to have been selected as both PROaupair’s au pair of the year and IAPA’s au pair of the year,” said Robert. “My time in the U.S. has been amazing. While it wasn’t always easy to be away from home, the cultural experience made it all worth it: living with a wonderful family in the U.S., having a challenging and interesting job, traveling and meeting new people, and speaking in a foreign language all the time. Normal travel can’t compare with the unique experience I’ve had being a professional au pair.”

About PROaupair
Founded in 2008, PROaupair is a boutique au pair agency designated by the U.S. Department of State and the only au pair agency specializing in live-in professional childcare. PROaupair’s professional au pairs all have degrees and/or significant experience in fields such as pediatric nursing, occupational and physical therapy, and early childhood education. PROaupair places au pairs with families in the U.S. and Australia and maintains offices in the U.S., Australia and Germany. For more information about PROaupair, please call 844-787-6566 or visit http://www.proaupair.com.

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Heidi Mispagel
PROaupair
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