Penizotto's passion has always been working with children. She graduated from Onondaga with a degree in Early Childhood Education and earned a bachelor's in Elementary Education from SUNY Oswego.
In 1994 she opened Shining Stars Daycare in East Syracuse. Twenty years later Stella and her husband John have three child care centers in East Syracuse, Manlius and Liverpool. They have 90 employees and serve the child care and educational needs of 330 Central New York families.
Shining Stars was inducted into New York State's Small Business Hall of Fame. In 2010 Penizotto was named New York State's Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration, earning her a trip to the White House and a meeting with the President.
- Onondaga Community College Alumni Awards