2015 Tillman Scholar

Reagan Odhner

Marine Corps
Stanford University
B.A., Economics

“Success is not something that will happen by accident, I must choose to work for it every day.”

Feeling a deep-rooted pull to commit, serve, adventure and test her limits, Reagan enlisted in the Marine Corps, learning throughout that she had to earn happiness and success – it is not something that will happen by accident but something to consciously choose to work for every day. Using everything around her as motivation, Reagan later discovered it wasn’t satisfying and responded instead to an internal desire to progress rather than to compete, which evolved into a genuine desire to succeed because of the use it served. By expanding her limits Reagan was becoming a more useful, reliable person, instilling confidence in her ability to pursue and attain her goals.

During her time serving with the Marines, Reagan earned a position with the elite team of women called the Female Engagement Team and after six months of training deployed with an infantry unit to Sangin, Afghanistan where they patrolled, participated in operations and on the side worked on community improvement projects and ultimately fell in love with the people and the work she was doing, risking her life to teach to those who were willing to risk their lives to come learn.

Searching for a way to return to work on development in the Middle East, Reagan began the pursuit of her bachelor’s degree only to be forced to take time off after being diagnosed with stage-two blood cancer. She has since returned to Stanford to pursue her goal while taking classes and volunteering as a Director of Undergraduate Operations for Service To School, helping veterans gain college admission. Additionally, Reagan volunteers at the VA Hospital with recreational rehabilitation every week with different activities, ultimately believing one of the most important things we can invest is our time.

Read Reagan’s Tillman Tuesday Q&A