Veronica Aguilar (BA Business Communication ’12, MBA ’21) is the vice president of recruitment and lead of the West Coast recruitment team at nonprofit organization Teach For America.

Young and Empowered Women (Y&E)

Alumna Veronica Aguilar created nonprofit to empower women in the workforce
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When Veronica Aguilar (BA Business Communication ’12, MBA ’21) started her nonprofit, Young & Empowered Women (Y&E), she knew the organization was special. “I identified a need for women to come together and empower each other during difficult circumstances,” she says. “I also want to close the gender gap and ensure that all women have equal opportunities in the workforce.”

The W. P. Carey School of Business helped Aguilar turn her dream into reality. “I was taking a business planning course during my second year of the MBA program,” she says.

“I created the board of directors and bylaws, and because of the support, I felt confident moving forward with starting my own nonprofit,” she says. “Faculty and staff were rooting for me and in my corner.”

Y&E achieved official nonprofit status in June 2021, and Aguilar is excited about the future. “It’s important to have a diverse ecosystem of women supporting you in your journey,” she says. “The majority of our members identify as women of color and first-generation college students who seek guidance and mentorship on their personal and professional growth.”

Aguilar’s experience at W. P. Carey gave her insight into giving back as a leader and advocating for the communities you serve. “I continue to be inspired by the number of established female leaders who raise their hand to support and mentor women within the organization,” she says. “It’s a beautiful thing to watch women lift each other.”

Aguilar is proud of the work Y&E has done to bring women together. “We’ve even hosted a free professional development event featuring high-profile guest speakers, including Arizona local Vanessa Ruiz of ASU, to address combating the gender gap, imposter syndrome, and salary negotiation.” Ruiz is the deputy vice president for outreach within Educational Outreach and Student Services at ASU.

“I’m looking forward to creating more spaces for women,” Aguilar says. “Especially women of color to seek new job opportunities, mentorship, and personal growth. We still have a lot of work to do.”

After graduating from W. P. Carey with her MBA, Aguilar advanced to lead the national recruitment team for the nonprofit Teach For America. “I gained the management and leadership skills to help lead a national organization toward bringing more teachers into the classroom.”

Aguilar recognizes the value of the Evening MBA. “It was an easy choice for me because of the awards the school has won, the prestige of the program, and the faculty and staff,” she says. “It was all about the individuals I worked with and the relationships I built.

“I now have one of the most powerful networks because of W. P. Carey.”

As you plan what’s next for your career, we invite you to picture the possibilities at W. P. Carey.

From master’s degrees and MBA programs to W. P. Carey Executive Education seminars and Career 4 workshops for alumni, there are many ways to continue learning here for life.