2014 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Dr. Simone Ellis

Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, 2001

Other Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Attended: Claude Huyck Elementary and Arrowhead Middle

Simone EllisSimone Ellis wants students to dream big and then look at their dreams and dream even bigger. She has had big dreams all of her life, and has worked hard to make them a reality.

Ellis decided her career path when she was in the 2nd grade. An unplanned shadowing experience at the dentist’s office ignited a spark in her. She knew then that she wanted to become a dentist. As she made her way through school, her dream grew bigger: open her own dental practice.

She made both dreams come true. Today, she owns Smile Design Studios in Missouri City, Texas. She loves helping families and being a part of their lives. And she likes having the flexibility of owning her own business.

She credits her career success to her parents who nurtured her along the way and let her know that failure was not an option. She also had a number of teachers who gave her reasons to believe in herself. Her 1st grade teacher at Claude Huyck Elementary posted a banner in the classroom that said, “I Can Kids.” She wanted her students to know that they CAN do anything. She thrived at Sumner Academy because of the inspirational environment that invested her in learning.

She said, “It’s one thing to teach somebody, but it’s another thing to inspire them.”

She started setting goals for herself at a young age, and she mapped out a plan to reach those goals. She continues that practice today.

Community service is an important part of Ellis’ life. She is president of the Houston Minority Dental Association. She partners with the local YMCA for special events, providing dental education and toothbrushes to children and families. On her 30th birthday, she provided a free day of dental services to Houston families. She also helps mentor young people by providing job shadowing opportunities. The experience has been a full circle one for her.

Even though she has achieved a great amount of success in her career, she continues to dream big dreams. Her next goal is to open a second practice.