Specials

Julia Mertins, Logopädin von BEST-Sabel MEDICUM Berufsfachschule für Logopädie

Herzlichen Glückwunsch an Julia!

23. Januar 2017 remove_red_eye 1.406 Views

2017_APOTY_JuliaJulia Mertins (25), a Speech Therapist from Frankfurt, Germany, was nominated by the Schulenburg family of Winnetka, Illinois for the 2017 Professional Au Pair of the Year Award. She was one of the top 3 contest winners!

Caring for the family's two children, Luke (10) and Bennett (7), Julia has touched their lives in so many ways. "Julia has amazed us so much it is hard to put it into words. It is incredible how a stranger can come into your life and touch your heart.   When I first contemplated inviting an Au Pair to live with us, I was hoping for someone to help with the kids and make our life a bit easier. What I got with Julia Mertins, with 100% certainty, is a permanent member of our family."


Read her family's nomination essay:

When I read the directions for the Au Pair of the year contest, to include stories about how our au pair “has helped your child/children, positively affected the family, become part of the community”, it is hard to decide on which of the amazing stories to share. Julia has amazed us so much it is hard to put it into words. It is incredible how a stranger can come into your life and touch your heart. When I first contemplated inviting an Au Pair to live with us, I was hoping for was someone to help with the kids and make our life a bit easier. What I got with Julia Mertins, with 100% certainty, is a permanent member of our family.

Our son Luke is a sweet, adorable, nearly 12-year old (says his totally unbiased mom) that has autism, is total non-verbal, non-communicative and not potty trained. To say it is challenging, loud and extremely messy to care for Luke is an understatement. I get frustrated, tired and often complain. Julia may get frustrated and tired but I would never know for she NEVER complains. She is a joyous, happy person that lives
life in the most positive way. From day one, Julia has made Luke her first priority. Luke has trouble sleeping, often jumping on the bed, banging the walls and making his unique sounds. To help him sleep, Julia will lay down next to him, calming him down with her amazing singing voice. When she stops, Luke takes one finger and touches her face to indicate that he would like her to continue. To get him to stay on the toilet, hoping for some success, she again sings. For Luke’s Christmas gift this year, Julia took her time and money to go to a recording studio and sing perfect versions of Luke’s favorite songs. The note on the CD said “No matter how far apart we are, this gift makes us always seem to be around somehow. #happypoopsforever Love Julia”. As the songs played and Luke rocked back and forth to the music, everyone in the room cried. Luke has never received such a meaningful gift. It doesn’t matter that Luke cannot communicate. She knows him better than anyone. She knows his heart.

With our younger typical, son Bennett, she never runs out of energy or activities. They create elaborate pillow forts, paint rocks into spiders, pumpkins or monsters. She has endless patience for his explanations of his lego creations, stick ‘laser shooters’ or any other creative item he dreams up. She disciplines him when necessary and loves him endlessly. With both kids, she is always up for an adventure, planning picnics at the beach, outings to the planetarium or creating delicious dinners together.

To me Julia seems like a mix of daughter, little sister and friend. She is fun to be with, making the days when my husband travels less lonely and more fun. We jam in the car to music and swear we will one day make a lip-sync video. She rolls with the crazy of our family and loves to participate in everything we do. Most importantly, she seamlessly takes over for us when we are gone, keeping our kids safe and cared for. When my older son Luke broke his arm during our last day of Christmas vacation in California, we knew we could send Julia home to Chicago with Bennett by themselves without any concern. The relief for a parent of not having to worry about one child, while taking care of another cannot be overstated.

Outside the home she is equally active. She took an acting class at college last year. When the Emergency Medical Tech class needed someone to ‘act’ as a patient, Julia went. She enjoyed the group so much she volunteered with them for the rest of the year without any credit, compensation or benefit to her. She did it to be part of the community, meet people, and most of all help.   She made lasting friends with the class and had the most hysterical stories to tell us each time. Julia is also a magnet for the au-pair community in the North Shore. She plans events and reaches out to every new au pair to include them in the group. They are lucky to have her.

Although I might not be able to express to you how much Julia helps us, does for us and most of all means to us, she is, to our family, The Au-Pair of the Century.

Submitted by the Schulenburg Family of Winnetka, Illinois

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