Stella Trout is all about giving back. When you want to do more but you don’t have the resources to make it happen, that feeling sticks with you. It can be more meaningful when you finally succeed because of how hard you worked to get it. You don’t take success for granted and you often work twice as hard to help others achieve their dreams.
“Success isn’t about what you build for yourself, it’s about how you build up others,” Stella says. “I wasn’t put here to keep everything to myself. I want to help anyone and everyone that I can.”
As her campus’ 2020 Student of the Year, Stella exemplifies Herzing University’s P.R.I.C.E. of Success Model. She is a full-time Professional who has earned the Respect of her peers, carries herself with Integrity, Cares for those in her circle and is an Engaged and active part of the community.
Stella graduated in 2020 and is now working toward a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. She is also a wife, mother of three and a year into ownership of her own photography business. She continues to mirror the P.R.I.C.E of Success in her business and has been spotlighted locally for her effort to give people an experience she never had.
“I don’t have any photos from my wedding — it wasn’t something we were able to have,” Stella recalls. “But now with this job, I love doing wedding photography and I love capturing the memories of that special day. Years from now, the cake has been eaten, the flowers have dried up, the guests have all gone home and the music has stopped — but the photos and the memories are things that will always be there.”
At 34 and with many other commitments, a return to school wasn’t easy, yet Stella would encourage anyone else to do it. It provided her with new sets of skills, kept her focused on long-term goals and pushed her to exceed her expectations.
Through her journey, she’s learned plenty of lessons that she shares with those still working toward their dreams. The life experiences, the expanded perspective and the self-awareness you get by going to school can open doors you never thought you would walk through.
“One thing I’ve discovered from going to school online is that you have to remain focused on what’s in front of you — nobody else is going to lead you where you want to go,” Stella says. “It was never going to be easy but going to school through Herzing was the ideal path for me. I was able to return to school and still balance my family and work responsibilities. It offered flexibility that a lot of schools just don’t provide.”
Stella credits Herzing University and her marketing training for much of her latest successes. Through her degrees and the friendships she’s created, she’s blended the business skills she’s learned with her artistic talents.
“If I could speak to those who have helped me here — Renee, my professors, my classmates — I’d just want to say, ‘thank you for everything',” Stella says. “Herzing University has been and continues to be my biggest support system. They made it possible for me to find direction, find a passion and change my life.”