Makayla Reynolds L’23
Makayla was raised in Stuart, Florida before moving to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania. She studied Health and Societies with a concentration in Health Care Markets and Finance, focusing on market approaches to address health inequities. She interned with hospital systems in Philadelphia and Atlanta and worked on projects that would make systems more efficient for low income populations. She also worked with the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services in Washington D.C., which inspired her to work to address public policy that affects low-income populations.
As the first African American woman to become Class President at Penn, Makayla used her platform to advocate for greater access for underrepresented students at Penn. She increased funding for low-income students to access class-wide events, worked alongside University administration, and led initiatives with Active Minds Penn to promote mental wellness on campus. As a first-generation college student, Makayla was inspired to work with students in West Philadelphia as a tutor and mentor. This led her to join Teach for America in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she taught upper elementary school for two years before returning to Penn for law school. Makayla describes this experience as a transformative venture that inspired her to work with at-risk youth. Most recently, Makayla worked with the Penn Rising Senior Summer Academy to help prepare rising Philadelphia seniors to apply for college. Makayla aspires to pursue a career advocating for low-income communities, especially low-income children.