Texas Wesleyan University junior Stella Ton, 20, called herself a leader on campus. Her proof is in her experience.
Ton leads multiple on-campus organizations — she is a new student mentor, a student assistant in the communication and marketing office, a student intern for the diversity, equity and inclusion program in the student affairs department, president of the Asian Association and an international students organization and the vice-president of the student diversity program.
“The reason I got so involved at this school is because I fell in love with this school and I really want to give back to my community,” Ton said. “I’m doing a lot and not many students are willing to make the change or step up to do something. I’m not just going to talk about it, I’m going to do something about it.”
She attended the Women in Leadership Forum 2023 March 23 at Wesleyan’s Martin Center.
The junior said she attends such lectures, like the forum with Elaine Agather, the chairwoman of the Dallas Region for JPMorgan Chase & Co., because she enjoys hearing from people who are “high up” and “successful” in their lives. It inspires her.
“It’s very motivating. Like one day you can be there and it doesn’t matter what race, sex or gender you are — you can do it if you believe in yourself,” Ton said.
Agather spoke to a room full of students and other guests about her journey as a woman in finance. She has been a part of Chemical Bank, where she got her start in finance, Texas Commerce Bank, a board member of Performing Arts Fort Worth and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
“I really didn’t ever think about being a banker. I just needed a J-O-B,” Agather said. “The key is you have to sometimes not overthink it.”
In the 1970s, Agather applied for jobs in New York City. Her last interview was at Chemical Bank — she told her interviewer she always wanted to be a banker, but she never did, she said.
Agather talked about valuing experience over education, too. In her eyes, education teaches discipline, but experience teaches leadership skills.
Ton valued those words.
“That’s why I stepped up to take action,” Ton said. “I’m glad that I have the right people and officers there to support me.”
Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.