She was born and raised in Santa Ana, CA. Stella comes from a family of immigrants and is accustomed to hearing a mix of many languages as her grandparents were born in Japan, her father was raised in Mexico City, and she identifies as a Korean woman of color.
Prior to UCLA, she was an Associate Program Director at the L.A. Trust for Children’s Health. She also worked at the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Young Invincibles, and the Center for Community Change. She was selected as an Economic Justice Fellow with the Women’s Policy Institute in 2010 and worked as a 2013 graduate international policy fellow at the AFL-CIO’s headquarters in Washington DC.