Ari Pak is a youth development professional whose purpose is to actualize potential and develop pathways which allow people of all ages to thrive. Serving as the Programs Director for Asian American LEAD, Ari works with staff, community partners, and youth to provide meaningful opportunities to youth in the DC metro region. Ari oversees the successful implementation of AALEAD after-school, summer, and mentorship programs and strengthens organizational capacity and culture to reflect youth-centered practices. Ari’s work is informed by their belief that all people possess the potential and desire for personal growth and valuable contribution. Ari first joined AALEAD in 2014 as a volunteer and has served in various roles at AALEAD since, including as the Maryland Regional Program Manager, Maryland High School Program Coordinator, and Elementary After School Program Teacher. In their free time, Ari enjoys trying out new recipes in the kitchen, seeking new views on trails, and spending time with loved ones
Ari led the program team to achieve over ninety percent youth satisfaction during the 2019-2020 program cycle in the areas of increased knowledge on Asian Pacific American culture, understanding of similarities between cultures, and belonging to a supportive network of peers and adults. Over eighty percent of youth expressed that through their participation in AALEAD programs they had taken on more leadership roles, completed more community service, gained tools to manage their mental wellness, and had the knowledge and ability to advocate for their academic and career pathways.
Ari is a trained positive youth development professional possessing a variety of certifications informing their practice including the DC Children & Youth Investment Trust Advancing Youth Development (AYD), Partners for Youth Empowerment Creative Facilitation, EveryMind Youth Mental Health First Aid, and the Latin American Youth Center LGBTQIA Ally Training. .
Ari holds an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a B.A. in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the College of William and Mary.