Being the director of a charitable foundation, a podcast host, a dancer, and supporter of countless charities may seem overwhelming, but for Audrey Paek, this is just an average day! Audrey is the co-founder and director of Visionary Steps Charitable Foundation, which provides “services, information and funds” to help amateur athletes prepare and compete in national and international ballroom dancing competitions. The foundation focuses on serving underprivileged communities and introducing children to the arts. They also give scholarship money to help their students to further their learning outside of the charity. Audrey is a strong advocate for pursuing your passion, and doing what you love.
She herself is a living example of this, as I spoke with her in between shoots, it was inspiring to hear the amount of passion and pure joy in her voice.
You can tell that Audrey loves dance more than anything, and her strong work ethic and positive attitude have undoubtedly lead her to a life of success.
Audrey also supports a foundation where they introduce ballroom dancing to 5th graders at Cambridge public schools. She says that this is important because this age group is so impressionable, and ballroom dancing helps students learn important life skills, self confidence, partnership, and create social connections. Audrey recalled a boy in one of her classes who entered incredibly shy, unable to even speak to his peers. By the end of the course, he was having a wonderful time, loved dancing, and his self confidence had blossomed.
In addition to charity work and a demanding job, Audrey dances in her spare time and competes “Pro-Am”. Pro-Am, meaning Professional / Amateur, is a competition in which a teacher and student partner up and dance together. Audrey is also a podcast host for Asian Women for Health, which she described as a “peer lead community”. They partner with PRX Podcast Garage, and works to amplify asian women’s voices. The podcast discusses advice for women and their health, situations they go through and how to get access to health related resources.
Despite Audrey’s full plate, she is one of the most collected and put together people I have ever met. During the entirety of her photoshoot, Audrey was always smiling and laughing, and her presence lifted the mood of everyone in the shop. She has truly mastered scheduling, keeping herself extremely busy, while still finding time for herself, and to do the things she loves.