Yajaira Aich West, Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road Alum: The Power of An All-Female, Female-Led Environment

“Girl Scouts is the system that will continue to be by your side until you achieve what your success looks like,” said Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road alumni, Yajaira Aich West. Yajaira joined a Lexington, Kentucky troop after being introduced through Tates Creek Elementary school and truly believes that the skills and connections she gained have shaped who she is as woman, a mother and a professional.

Strong-willed and passionate, Yajaira, has always pushed boundaries. Yajaira recalled that her younger self continually questioned the status quo. “I have been on fire ever since I was a child,” Yajaira said, “I challenged the reasoning behind rules and freely offered up my opinions, sometimes even when not asked!”

This fire continued to propel Yajaira through her academics. From kindergarten through high school, Yajaira found satisfaction in making her parents and teachers proud. She developed a strong work ethic that mirrored her parents, who worked tirelessly to provide for her family by owning a small business. Yajaira understood that nothing would come easy, but knew that the skills she learned in school and the Girl Scouts would be integral to the successful woman she is today. 

Yajaira and her family quickly recognized that she would never settle in a disagreement. “I have channeled this characteristic into enhancing my negotiation skills and influence in business,” Yajaira said. While her strong spirit was always present, she strengthened these skills through Girl Scout cookie sales. Yajaira walked door-to-door selling cookies and won people over with her positive attitude and sales pitch. After every sale, Yajaira felt thrilled and motivated to go to more houses. She was able to see her hard work pay off as she organized the boxes for delivery in her living room. And Yajaira truly loved witnessing the delight on people’s faces as she delivered their cookies. She said, “To know that I was the one to help provide them with a smile on their faces made the hard work worth it.” 

Now, as a Vice President and Director of Client and Community Relations at PNC Bank, Yajaira understands that collaboration with the public is crucial. She leads PNC’s involvement in the community by developing, facilitating and implementing key initiatives, events and projects. As she learned in Girl Scouts, creating authentic relationships yields authentic results.   

Yajaira is passionate about collaborating with businesses and community partners. “I believe that being a Girl Scout was one of the sparks to this passion,” Yajaira expressed. As a young girl, she worked tirelessly to earn badges for herself, which ultimately would benefit her entire troop. To this day, Yajaira believes in making warm introductions and connections that will mutually benefit all parties, she said that “this stems from the lessons I learned as a Girl Scout.”

Yajaira’s youthful fire and determination has guided her accomplishments today. She stresses the importance of having an all-female, safe space where making mistakes are embraced and encouraged—which she found in the Girl Scouts. The organization provided her the tools and support to turn her passions into reality.  Yajaira encourages other girls to join the Girl Scouts and find their true selves in the program she characterizes as “life-altering.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s