Host Family of the year 2024 – Third Place

Third Place of the 2024 Apex Host Family of the Year Award - Peters Family

Erfahre im Brief von US Care Professional Breanna, weshalb sie ihre Gastfamilie zur „Host Family of the Year 2024“ nominiert hat.

My name is Breanna, and I am an Apex Social Care Professional with my associate in child development. I am originally from Johnstown, Pennsylvania and I moved to Haymarket, Virginia. I met my host family in August of 2022 and officially moved in with them in September. From our first zoom call, I felt extraordinarily welcomed and that their kind words were genuine. When I started, there was a lot that I had to learn, but I was willing to give my best efforts and my host family has always been extremely encouraging, providing feedback and resources I needed to thrive in their home.

My host family consists of Jp, Sam, Maddie, Jack, and Gina. I take care of Jp, who is the youngest. He is the most stylish, funny, and inspiring 17-year-old. We are always making each other laugh and he loves to pick our outfits for school so that we match, he keeps me looking stylish too. Sam is Jp’s older brother and lives in the home. He is taking college classes here in Virginia. When he is not working at his full-time job, he works with Jp on Sundays. Sam is incredibly smart, an amazing dancer, and has a great future with lots of potential ahead of him. Maddie is Jp’s older sister and is taking college classes in New York. She occasionally comes home to visit. She is musically talented, genuine, and has the passion it takes to make it in the music industry. Jack is Jp’s father and works until the evening on weekdays. When he gets home, he is always ready to help. Jack also works with Jp during the weekends. He is incredibly kind, easy-going, and always a pleasure to talk to. Gina is Jp’s mother and stays at home to work with Jp. We work together most of the time and she is always hands-on with caring for Jp. She is always experimenting with new ways to make Jp’s life more convenient and fun. She is the most selfless, thoughtful, and kind- hearted person I know.

Through this incredible opportunity, I have been able to progress professionally through learning various skills. Some include getting my G-tube medication administration certificate, obtaining occupational and physical therapy skills, familiarizing myself with Jp’s communication devices and supporting him in conversation, and so much more. This has
also allowed me to grow personally, for I have gained so much confidence over the last year. I have a better understanding of working with children with special needs and I also know that it is something that God has called me to do, for it has given me a newfound sense of purpose and fulfillment. My host family has supported my growth and continues to do so. Together, we are always brainstorming about ways to improve Jp’s quality of life, and the family has such a positive outlook towards the future. I have always admired them for how well they communicate with me and amongst each other. They have been my shoulder to cry on, a safe space for me to express myself, and they truly are a second family to me. I love every one of them and I am so glad that I get to be a part of their lives.

Since 2022, Jp has made phenomenal progress. When I met Jp, he was not able to use his communication devices often and spent most of his days in his wheelchair or
crawling. Through his hard work and practicing his OT and PT goals, he now communicates his wants, needs, and preferences. He has so many ideas for content videos that I can
visualize because he has been able to express himself so well. Jp used to play on his school basketball team by rolling the ball off his lap, and now he uses his walker and hits
the ball from my hand to pass it. He has recently started taking steps completely on his own. Jp is highly motivated, and he continues to inspire not only myself, but my family and friends back home who I enjoy sharing his story with. I truly believe that Jp is making such a significant impact on the world, and it has been a pleasure to watch him grow into his best, most confident self.

Some important milestones/ favorite memories of mine include:

• Getting to go to school with Jp and being his communication partner in class, watching him make so many new friends, and hosting hangouts at his house for them
Going to Nashville with my host family for the Dup15q conference, which is Jp’s primary diagnosis. I gained a lot of insight into Jp’s condition and met lots of new people
• Maddie teaching me how to play guitar and letting me use hers
• Sam taking me to my first baseball game and introducing me to new artists/concerts
• Jp’s nanna and aunt Tess inviting us to their beach house in North Carolina
• My host family taking the time and effort to help me celebrate my birthday on multiple occasions, calling it my “birthday week” and making it my best birthday ever
• Working with Jp to help him pick his Make-A-Wish for this upcoming summer
• Watching Jp’s personality shine as he discovers a newfound passion for becoming a model and influencer

To conclude, I believe my host family deserves the award for Host Family of The Year because they have been nothing but the best to me and I am beyond thankful for having them in my life.

Host Family of the year 2024 – Third Place