Meet Our Latest OppU Achiever: Stella Gitelman Willoughby!


Name: Stella G. Gitelman Willoughby

College: Berklee College of Music

Major: Music Composition, Film Scoring

Degree: B.M. (Bachelor of Music)

Graduation Date: 2022

Our latest OppU Achiever used music to turn obstacles into opportunity.

We’re thrilled to announce the winter recipient of the $2,500 OppU Achievers Scholarship, Stella Gitelman Willoughby!

For as long as she can remember, Stella has loved music. (She started playing the piano at 3 and began composing at 5.) But for the same amount of time, she’s faced obstacles. Physical and mental, these challenges permeated her life, but only later did they receive a diagnosis.

For Stella, music has provided a space in which she can turn her challenges on their head. She can express herself unhindered, and in that world she thrives.

In the fall, Stella will start her freshman year at Berklee College of Music. She’ll study composition, influenced by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Cage, and Clara Schumann—an inspiration for her as a female composer. She chose Berklee because it not only trains students to be musicians, but also teaches them how to make a living in the field. And this distinction is important for Stella, who already has her sights set on her career. Professionally, she dreams of one day writing commissioned pieces for symphony orchestras and scoring music for films.

Congrats, Stella!  

Could you or someone you know use $2,500 for tuition? The OppU Achievers Scholarship is open to high school seniors, college students, graduate students, and students in trade or professional programs. To apply, submit a short essay through our web portal.


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