Ceilie Reynolds, a junior political science student with a focus in environmental science, was recently named one of the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore’s 2023 Phenomenal Women Under 40. Reynolds was one of 10 women selected for this award, which recognizes honorees for their “outstanding achievements in the community, exemplary character, and their passion to defy the future.”
“The recognition means a great deal to me and to my family, both because I was a Girl Scout of the Jersey Shore, but also because it means that now these girls have someone a little bit closer to their age to look up to as a role model,” Reynolds, one of this year’s youngest honorees, explained.
After initially completing her freshman year at Fairfield University, Reynolds chose to pursue her love of scuba diving, spending six months getting certified as a master scuba dive instructor on an island off the coast of Honduras. Upon returning to the U.S., she was involved in a near fatal accident, sustaining serious cranial issues, a collapsed lung, and multiple broken bones and face, preventing her from returning to school right away and pursuing her dream of becoming a scuba instructor.
Since recovering and transferring to Monmouth, Reynolds has been working toward a career that will combine her passion for politics and the environment while being actively involved in multiple local philanthropic organizations, including the Monmouth Park Charity Fund, The Beauty Foundation for Cancer Care, and Clean Ocean Action. More recently, she has begun working with the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey, the American Heart Association, and The Human Library.
“I am grateful that I have found a place to call my educational home,” Reynolds said of Monmouth, specifically acknowledging the availability of advisers in the political science department for one-on-one discussions. “I have been exposed to many different educational styles and viewpoints [here] that I feel are unique to the Monmouth community.”
While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, Reynolds has also worked closely with the Department of Disability Services, which has helped facilitate accommodations to provide a path for success. She added, “Monmouth University has never made me feel like a disabled student. Here, I have always felt like a student with some disabilities.”
Reynolds hopes that her story is an inspiration to those struggling to overcome obstacles in their own lives. “You are never alone,” she said, “so don’t ever give up!”