Caitlin sets her sights on the States

A Stockton student has secured a year-long employment opportunity in the United States.

Caitlin Hannan, 18, of Stockton Sixth Form College, has been accepted to join the Cultural Care Au Pair initiative, which will see her work for an American family upon leaving college.

For a full year, Caitlin will have the opportunity to work with children, study and travel in the USA.

Caitlin, an ex-Ian Ramsey Academy student, will fly to Long Island, New York, in August for initial training before jetting to Birmingham, Alabama, to meet her chosen family face-to-face.

The Au Pair Programme is a cultural exchange experience regulated by the US Department of State. The role covers the cost of flights and travel arrangements, accommodation and living costs, and also includes a $200 weekly wage, the opportunity to take classes at a local university and paid holidays.

Caitlin said: “I’ve always wanted to go to university and still aspire to do so, but I wanted to do something which involved working and travelling beforehand. This is the perfect opportunity.

“I met Cultural Care through a college talk held on our Focussed Fridays, where we are encouraged to think about our next step and how we can make ourselves more successful. I applied straight away and had to film a video of why I thought I would be good at the job.

“I was delighted to be chosen by my family, who I have now met on Skype a number of times. They seem lovely – I can’t wait to get started now!”

Caitlin will be responsible for looking after two children under the age of seven.

She added: “I’ve grown up with younger brothers and looked after them from an early age, so nothing like this fazes me.

“I think I’ll eventually apply to study Law at university, but I hope to gain all sorts of life experience in the meantime.”

Rachel Angus, Vice Principal at Stockton Sixth Form College, said: “Caitlin has excelled in her A-level subjects and has made the very brave and potentially life-changing decision to grab this opportunity with both hands.

“We are committed to broadening our students’ horizons and giving them the opportunity to apply for once in a lifetime programmes which will set them up for a bright future. We wish Caitlin the very best of luck!”