Cosmetology alumnus Ellis gives back to the community

03.29.2019 | By Melissa Trevizo

After 36 years in the cosmetology industry, San Jacinto College South Campus alum David Ellis attributes his success to two things; his education and his work ethic.

“I owe a lot to San Jac,” Ellis said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the College. I love to come back and speak to students and promote the programs.”

Ellis, who was among of the first cohort of graduates to complete the cosmetology program at the South Campus, has worked in film, television, fashion, and often creates red carpet looks for award season.

“If you told me at 19 years old when I graduated that I would be working with designers and actors, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Ellis said. “I truly think anyone can do this, you just have to have the skills and determination.”

Ellis believes that all of San Jacinto College’s cosmetology graduates possess the skills they need to be successful, even in a saturated marketplace.

“Schools are turning out so many hair dressers today, but you can always spot a San Jac student,” Ellis said. “San Jac sends graduates out prepared to join the workforce. That’s not always the case with other schools and that is a big factor when hiring someone.”

So, what is Ellis’ advice for students in the cosmetology program?

“Your first year out of cosmetology school, you need to go into a shop that is very busy and fast-paced,” Ellis said. “You can pick up great time management skills there. When you are making mistakes in what is almost a factory environment, that’s where you learn quickly, what works and what doesn’t.”

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. San Jacinto College is a 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 institution, a 2017 Aspen Prize Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers eight areas of study that puts students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs.

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.