Stephanie Ellor

“Everything we do in day-to-day life depends on how we feel. It’s all about having a positive attitude. And getting competent help when you need it.”

Let’s first be emphatic here for a moment. Stephanie Ellor is a woman who will just not be thwarted. When asked why she thought she would be successful in life, she responded as quickly as lightning. “Determination!” she says with a laugh. “If I want something, I’m gonna get it. End of story.” But it’s giving, not getting, that really defines Stephanie—a first-generation college student. “I used to think I would be a marine biologist. But the sheer joy of helping someone with emotional problems or whatever else is going on in their lives… I just love that feeling. And it pays for itself.”

Stephanie says, “When I took a few psych classes at SMC, I just loved every single one of them. And they are what made me decide on what I want to do with my life. Maybe some people come to SMC because their grades aren’t the best,” she says. “But I live in the area, and I support myself by working full-time. And I knew that this is an incredible school, so it all couldn’t have been a better fit. And the majority of my professors have been absolutely wonderful,” she adds. “They simply confirmed that I’m at a great college, and that I’m in the right field of study.”

Stephanie adds that “night classes have been very helpful to me, because they work with my schedule. And that’s another great thing about SMC. You have so many options that you can always work it out.” Her plan is to go all the way to the PhD level at San Diego State University. “I want to be a full-fledged clinical psychologist. Everything else will just have to fall into place around that. It’s gonna take me a lot of years, I know. But I will make it.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​