Experiences and Testimonials

Learn about our Care professionals stories

Interview with US Care Professional and ABA Therapist Olivia

What US Care Professionals say about the Apex Social Program…

Volunteering as an Apex Care Professional: Building Bonds and Making a Difference at Camp Krem

Working with a Non-Verbal Child – Physical Therapist and Care Professional Tanja

Nurse Leander as a European Care Professional in the US with Apex Social

My Time in the USA with Apex Social - Speech Therapist Lilli shares her experience

Interview with US Care Professional and ABA Therapist Olivia

Apex Educational and Therapeutic Resources Coach Viktoria and Apex Executive Director of Care and Development Virginia are interviewing US Care Professional and ABA Therapist Olivia about her time, work and experience with Apex Social in Florida, USA.

What US Care Professionals say about the Apex Social Program…

US CP Megan Rizzo

Megan, Care Professional and Special Ed Teacher from MA now in NJ:

“Being a care professional has been so much fun! It has given me an opportunity to explore new places (like NYC) and learn new things about the field I want to work in. It has allowed me to connect with so many new people who have given me a new perspective on my career path.”

Olivia, Care Professional and ABA Therapist from IL now in FL:​

“I am so grateful for the opportunity that Apex Social has given me. Being a care professional has not only taught me about myself but also what I want for my future. Being in an environment that forces you to be okay outside of your comfort zone gives you this sense of strength and growth in so many aspects of life.”

Olivia, a Care Professional and ABA Therapist originally from IL, now resides in FL.
Care Professional and Psychology Graduate with girl at beach

Alaysia, Care Professional and Psychology Graduate from MI now in CA​

“I deeply value my experience with Apex. From my initial connection with Kyra to navigating the matching process, everyone was incredibly supportive and instrumental.”

“Finding a family was a swift process, and I connected with the second family I interviewed with. Over the past 6 months, my bond with them has exceeded my expectations. I truly feel like an integral part of their family. Despite not working with Apex on a daily basis, they consistently go above and beyond to ensure my happiness and success. In our monthly meetings, Jane, my area director, provides invaluable support, always ensuring I have the necessary resources. Whether it’s maximizing my time with my host family or building connections in a new community, Apex has been remarkably helpful. The prospect of moving across the country where I knew no one was intimidating, but thanks to Apex and my incredible host family, the transition couldn’t have been smoother. I’ve already gained valuable insights from my experiences with the kids and living in the Bay Area that I can apply to all aspects of life and my future career. I genuinely feel like I got super lucky and couldn’t have asked for a better family to work with. Without hesitation, I would recommend Apex to others.”

Volunteering as an Apex Care Professional: Building Bonds and Making a Difference at Camp Krem

Care Professional and Physical Therapist Nicolas at Camp Krem

Volunteering in the USA

There are many benefits to volunteering in the USA as a Care Professional: making a difference, meeting new people, learning new skills, and having fun. But it’s also a great opportunity to strengthen your bond with your host child. Americans highly value volunteer work, and there are many organizations that would welcome and greatly appreciate your help.

Our Apex Care Professional Alumni and Physical Therapist, Nicolas, worked as a volunteer at Camp Krem during his time in the USA and created wonderful memories there – alongside Ben, his host child with special needs.

Have you ever heard of Camp Krem?

Camp Krem is a summer camp program for individuals with special needs, located on a beautiful campground in Yosemite National Park. During the 6 sessions, each lasting 10 days, they provide an exceptionally fun and inclusive summer camp experience for both campers and staff. In addition to the Yosemite campsite, there is also a travel camp, and efforts are being made towards a year-round program. Annual holiday-related gatherings are a big step in the right direction.

By far one of the best experiences during my time as an Apex Care Professional

Nicolas had the opportunity to participate as a 1:1 caregiver alongside his host child Ben at Camp Krem last year. Reflecting on his time at Camp Krem, he says it was by far one of the best experiences he had during his time as an Apex Care Professional, and he hopes that others have the same opportunity. Understanding that Ben received excellent care from a dedicated medical team, responsible for various aspects, including medication administration, provided a valuable opportunity for his parents to take a much-needed break, reconnect with their other children, and engage in activities that were otherwise challenging. For Ben, Camp Krem was one of the most beautiful experiences he has ever had.
Apex Care Professionals participating in activities with campers at Camp Krem, forming strong bonds and contributing to a memorable experience.


My name is Tanja, and I am a licensed physical therapist from Germany. I have been with Apex Social for three months now, near Philadelphia, PA USA.

At the beginning of the matching phase, the Apex Matching team asked me if I could imagine working with non-verbal children. Since I had never worked with this diagnosis before, and the idea made me somewhat uncertain, my preference was to be matched with verbal children of any age. However, throughout the entire process, I was only contacted by families with non-verbal children.

Tanja, a physical therapist, works with a non-verbal child.

I thought, ‘I can’t do this’ – or can I?

So, I started to explore why it was such a big challenge for me to work with non-verbal children. It turned out that my fear was not being able to understand the children or communicate with them effectively. After all, it would be an additional hurdle alongside the language barrier if the child I was supposed to care for couldn’t always tell me what the problem was or express their needs. Eventually, I decided to go ahead and be matched with a family with a non-verbal child.

“It requires some adjustment, especially at the beginning, until you get used to it. However, I don’t really think about it anymore.”

My host child, Lucas, is 11 years old. Due to an accident and resulting brain injury, he is non-verbal. However, we have never had a problem understanding each other. Lucas taught me that verbal communication and language are not synonymous with communication. In his daily life, Lucas often uses his Talker to let me know what’s on his mind or communicates his priorities through sign language. Since Lucas cannot use sign language due to hemiparesis, he has developed his own signs. His parents showed me the most important signs at the beginning of my stay, and I learned the rest over time. The way you ask questions also makes a massive difference. I’ve learned to either ask “yes” and “no” questions, to which Lucas responds with nods, head shakes, or his signs, or to give him options from which he can make decisions.

Communication with an AAC Device

You might be wondering what a ‘Talker’ is. So, let’s go back to that. It’s an AAC Device (augmentative and alternative communication device). In essence, it’s an iPad configured to provide access to an application containing vocabulary that the person using the Talker has learned. With the help of this device, you can use words to communicate important messages, and the people around formulate the corresponding sentences. Alternatively, complete sentences can be composed on the Talker. Of course, this also depends on the person’s cognitive abilities.
Tanja’s Host Child with AAC Device
One thing I can say from my experience and conversations with other care professionals is that communication always works, even in emergencies, albeit sometimes with gestures and actions, similar to what you might experience when traveling abroad.

Nurse Leander as a European Care Professional in the US with Apex Social

My name is Leander, and I’m from Germany. I am currently twenty-seven years old. I successfully completed my training as a nurse in April 2021. After that, I worked in a gastroenterological ward and later in intensive care units.

Nurse Leander, a skilled European Care Professional at Apex Social in the US, delivering exceptional healthcare.

My Host Family

I met my super fantastic and friendly host family in “real life” for the first time at the airport in San Diego, Southern California. There, I was welcomed with a very sweet welcome sign and banner made by the kids. After my long and somewhat exhausting fourteen-hour flight, this brought a big smile to my face. The family consists of two parents and a set of twins. Accordingly, both children are currently six years old. One of them was born with congenital diabetes. So, in addition to the typical childcare responsibilities of an Apex Care Professional, I also address the needs of this condition on a daily basis.

My Daily Life as a Care Professional (CP)

Currently, the children are attending weekly summer camps due to the long summer break, which is typical in the USA. My typical workday starts at 8 am and involves 30 to 45 hours a week. Depending on various factors, I am responsible for breakfast, preparing lunch boxes, and getting the kids ready for the day. Then, I take the kids to their camps and mostly stay in the background, monitoring the child’s blood sugar level through technical devices throughout the camp duration. During snack and lunch times, I administer the required insulin dosage and ensure that the blood sugar levels return to the normal range. After that, I return home, usually around 3 pm. There, I organize the kids’ belongings and generally make sure everything is in order. Depending on whether it’s a long or short shift, my work ends at 4 pm or continues until 6 pm. On days with longer shifts, I am also responsible for dinner and bath time. However, not every day is the same. Some days have short shifts, and sometimes I start work in the afternoon or on weekends and additionally, put the kids to bed. Throughout all my tasks, I always keep an eye on the current blood sugar level and the correct insulin dosage.

Leisure Activities/Travel

As a passionate skateboarder (for 22 years) and a dedicated surfer for the past year, I have landed in paradise here in Southern California. Haha, Tony Hawk doesn’t live in San Diego for no reason. I enjoy the huge privilege of being able to use the family car for personal purposes, and within a 15-20 minute drive from home, I can reach plenty of surf and skate spots. So, I try to catch every good ‘swell’ in my free time.

Furthermore, in my free time, I spend a lot of time making music. I play the guitar, piano, and sing. I learned about a music contest at one of our monthly CP meetups called the ‘Ocean Beach Streetfair.’ Initially, I was scheduled to work during the event, but my host family was very understanding and changed my work schedule to support me so I could participate. It was an absolutely amazing feeling to win first place with my self-written and composed song and take home the grand prize!

Monthly Meetups:

These are always fun and provide a great opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals! It’s great for building contacts right from the beginning!

Person playing guitar, piano, and singing at a music contest. He won first place with his self-written and composed song.
Skilled skateboarder performing a trick, enjoying the best of both worlds in Southern California - surfing and skating.

College Courses:

I opted for the ‘all-in-one’ version here, which are called ‘Weekend Au Pair Classes.’ This way, I can earn almost all the required credit points in a single weekend. In my case, the focus is on ‘Advanced English.’ Besides the weekend in person, it’s also my responsibility to prepare for the course, both before and after (about a month in advance and afterward) by completing several hours of online assignments through the learning portal ‘Canvas.’

Highlight So Far:

Surfing surrounded by dolphins!!!!! Winning first place in the mentioned music contest. Haha, I hope there are many more highlights to come!

What Have I Learned and What Will I Take Home:

An incredible experience in many ways! Whether personally, linguistically, or culturally, it has been a tremendous enrichment so far! Haha, but I’m definitely taking my surfboard and guitar back home with me!”

My Time in the USA with Apex Social - Speech Therapist Lilli shares her experience

Speech therapist Lilli is a Care Professional in USA

“Without bravery, you will never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery, your life will remain small – far smaller than you probably wanted your life to be.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Honestly, I’m not quite sure where to begin with the story of my time in the United States with Apex Social; there’s so much to say… perhaps it would be good if I briefly introduce myself so you can get to know me a little better.

From Studying Speech Therapy in Germany to the USA

My name is Lilli, I’m 23 years old, and I currently live in Darien, Connecticut – with my host family, of course. In 2018, I began my studies in speech therapy, and at the end of 2020, Apex Social entered my life. I knew from the very first moment that this is what I wanted to do after my studies: go abroad to grow personally and professionally. And now, here I am, and my first year of this incredible journey is almost over… I can hardly believe it!

It’s not always easy to be so far away from family and friends in your home country, but…

…I believe that the decision to step out of my comfort zone and work in the United States as an Apex Care Professional is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. I am so grateful for the help and support of the fantastic Apex team, with whom I created my profile, spoke to different families in the USA, met my current host family, and started this project on June 14, 2022. But even here in the USA, you’re not left alone. It’s not always easy to be so far away from family and friends in your home country, but luckily, there’s a great Apex team and many wonderful caregivers nearby to support you and make your time here unforgettable.

That all sounds good, but what has she been doing for the past 10 months?

And now you’re probably thinking: That all sounds good, but what has she been doing for the past 10 months? I could write a whole book about the experiences I’ve had, but to sum it up: I’ve met wonderful people, gained insights into American culture, acquired new knowledge, traveled a lot, tried new things, made friends for life, and learned a lot about myself. Most importantly: Be Brave – Be courageous!

PS: If my words haven’t convinced you yet, take a look at the photos I’ve taken during my travels below.