Student Stories: Vivian G.

Mar 29 2019

graphic reading "Vivian Gonzalez: student stories" with a photo of a dark haired woman in her car

A student body of unique and talented individuals is what makes Douglas J Aveda Institute such a great place to be. When you combine people with different backgrounds, passions and skills, it creates a diverse educational experience for everyone. Vivian Gonzalez, a student from our Chicago campus, knows all about how empowering it is to be unique!

Finding Confidence in Cosmetology

Vivian grew up with a cosmetologist as a mother, so she’s been passionate about beauty since she was young. She found that not only is beauty a fun, creative outlet, it’s also a great way to gain self-confidence. “I had really bad acne [as a teen] and was really insecure,” she says. “Once I looked into skincare and taking care of myself, I realized I had a big passion for it.”

When Vivian decided to pursue cosmetology, she knew it had to be at Douglas J Aveda Institute. Our school resonated with her more than any other institution. Vivian lives in Indiana and takes two trains to get to school in Chicago. That’s how passionate she is about attending one of our campuses.

“[I love] their philosophy of green beauty and sustainability,” she says. “I fell in love with the holistic approach.”

Vivian’s Experience So Far

While studying cosmetology, Vivian has realized what a diverse and loving industry this is.“Everyone is so nice,” she says. “People want to help you grow and thrive.” She’s been inspired by many people here at our school. One of those was her former esthetics educator, Miss Lauren. “She had so much experience and taught me a lot about the real world. She was really passionate and inspired me to do my best.”

Circling back to her initial love of skin care, Vivian has fallen in love with performing skin analyses. This involves identifying different skin problems like dehydration or milia and developing a treatment plan. While she’s always been passionate about skin care, she never thought she’d actually be able to perform a skin analysis.

Douglas J student Vivian Gonzalez.

Looking Forward

Vivian graduates from our cosmetology program on April 20th, 2019 and you better believe she has goals. “My short term goal is to find a job and get some experience in the industry,” she says. “My long term goal is to open my own spa and create a line of luxury skin care products. In the meantime, she’s focusing on preparing for her state board exam and getting all the knowledge she needs to be mentally and physically prepared for the real world.

For any future students, Vivian advises to always give 100% and never be afraid to ask questions. She also wants people to know how great it is to be different.

“As a person of color who’s also trans, it’s best to go into the world knowing you are different. Being different is empowering. Don’t be afraid to be you.”

Be Yourself at Douglas J Aveda Institute!

If you feel inspired by Vivian’s story, come begin your own journey. Douglas J Aveda Institute is always ready to welcome unique, passionate, creative students. Contact us today to learn about applying to our cosmetology program.

You can follow Vivian on Instagram @esthitelier!