Stella Leopizzo - A Successful Woman

Stella Leopizzo

“A Successful Woman”

I met Stella many years ago at our Self Advocacy group, Self-Advocates Unlimited. Since then, Stella and I have been good friends.

Stella was a resident of Meriden, CT for 18 years before moving to Portland, Connecticut.  Stella graduated from Maloney High School in the year 2000.  However, when she moved to Portland, she didn’t have a job and because she was still eligible to attend high school, she enrolled in a Portland High School where she graduated three years later.

During Stella’s time at Maloney High School, a gentleman by the name, Jim Carta of MARC Community Resources, helped Stella find her first job at It’s Only Natural on October 24, 2001.  Stella had a second job working at a library in Cromwell from 2005-2016. During High School Stella encountered difficult situations in which she had to advocate for herself, and Stella reports that these situations made her stronger.

Stella enjoys giving advice to others. There are times when she gives advice to people in the Self Advocacy group she attends and if she doesn’t have an answer, she will have them speak to a trusted friend or family member.

Stella has been so happy working at It’s Only Natural that she has now been there for over 22 years!  Stella says she got to where she is with a strong work ethic and determination.  She feels that this job is the best fit for her. She’s very particular about the job she wanted.

When a customer argued with her over some fruit, the customer made it seem like Stella didn’t know what she was talking about. Stella handled the situation by reporting this to the Co-Owner.

When Stella isn’t working, she enjoys being on Recreation on Zoom monthly, playing games on her laptop, reading, cleaning, Self-Advocacy, watching tv shows, movies, and enjoying recreation with MARC.  Stella loves cooking.  She’s always finding recipes online or on Pinterest, and she modifies the recipes when necessary.

Stella’s hopes for the future include advancing in her career at It’s Only Natural, and she is also looking into getting her own apartment.  I would like to say on a personal level that I see Stella as a very self-determined woman who advocates for what she wants.

Stella says to always be yourself, work hard, don’t change for anybody, and always STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!


Written by Carol Grabbe, Self-Advocate Coordinator