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Mary Kass - President of Au Pair Foundation
Mary Kass Bio
Mary Kass is the owner and President of Au Pair Foundation, a "boutique" au pair agency located in Novato, California. Mary graduated from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has a Master's degree in psychology.
I have spent most of my professional career working for the mission of cultural exchange. I spent the last 28 years of my life working in the various J-1 cultural exchange programs: from short term “home-stay” programs, to J-1 high school and University work and travel exchange and finally in 2005 receiving a designation (approval from US Dept of State) for the Au Pair Foundation.
Because I found such value in promoting cultural enrichment programs here in the USA, I felt Au Pair Foundation would also provide a unique way to further this mission by providing childcare to American families. I like to believe that, “International Minds begin at Home”, so, I thought, what a better way to open your children’s eyes to the global community than through the experience of having an au pair?
Reading about another culture is useful but to have the hands on experience of having someone from another country help teach your children the words of a different language, the customs of a different culture and even the tastes of a different cuisine are priceless. The lasting friendships give your family and children memories to last a lifetime and an early understanding of a world bigger than their own backyard.
From my first day working in exchange I felt a special calling that I had never felt in any other of my career choices. I felt great passion about the world of exchange and felt connected to those who were also committing such a large portion of their personal and professional lives in this career. For the first time, I felt I had found my true calling and, as a result, I have stayed in the field of cultural enrichment programs for 30 years now.
While my life has been focused on cultural exchange, I also love to travel and have visited many countries worldwide. Visiting other cultures and understanding their system of values as well as educational and environmental challenges is very interesting.
In my free time, I enjoy my family and friends and take great joy in gardening. I devote some of my free time to promote some special environmental interests both here in the USA and internationally. I have a long list of interests but at the top would be anything to do with water, reading, and spiritual development. I carry a deep sense of gratitude for the blessings of life. (submitted to Au Pair Clearinghouse by Mary Kass, August 6, 2012)