Overcoming Adversity to Graduate

School News May 16 2016

Jennifer Cosman Graduates

Commencement ceremonies are getting underway all across the country, and Bellus Academy has a graduate we couldn’t be more proud to celebrate!

When it comes to overcoming adversity, being open to change and channeling grit to move toward a goal, Jennifer Cosman is a testament to all three. Diagnosed as an adult with Stargardt disease, an inherited form of macular degeneration most often seen in juveniles, Jennifer found it hard to continue her work as an early childhood educator.

She’d always had an interest in holistic health and helping others feel better, so when a coworker mentioned she was going to massage therapy school, Jennifer decided to learn more. That’s when her eyes were opened to a new calling – massage therapy!

In fact, Jennifer learned that in ancient Eastern cultures, massage therapy was largely practiced by the visually impaired – seeing the emperor’s unclothed body could result in severe punishment.

Jennifer enrolled at Bellus Academy . . . and that was the easy part. Her journey toward completing the massage therapy program was not easy and involved plenty of tears and thoughts of abandoning the journey, but Jennifer and Bellus massage therapy instructor Brent Haney approached her goal relentlessly. For example:

  • Brent used a computer program to enlarge text and then held it at angles where Jennifer’s peripheral vision could still see the copy.
  • During muscle anatomy classroom training, Jennifer became the classroom model, sometimes replacing the muscle chart– she was able to feel and hear the muscle groups although she could not see the chart.
  • Bellus adapted schedules so Jennifer could catch the disability bus transportation and be home in time to meet her son when he got home from school.
  • Jennifer always remembered these words of advice from her retired military father: “Failure isn’t an option.”

Within a week of graduating, Jennifer accepted a job with a San Diego County chiropractic office and is using her skills to help others feel better. Congratulations, Jennifer! All of us at Bellus Academy are so proud of you!

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Why Choose Bellus?

Travel the World

We offer International Certification (ITEC) which allows our graduates to work in 38 countries around the world.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Top Job Placement

Our career services team and student mobile app make finding your dream career so much easier.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Business & Marketing Training

Classes that prepare you to own a business and market yourself.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Our Reputation

Bellus is the most awarded beauty and wellness institution in the country and Intercoiffure recently ranked us the #1 beauty school in North America!

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Compete in Competitions

Our students have a history of succeeding at national student competitions including TrendVision and America’s Beauty Show.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

We're Tech Savvy

Our app gives 24/7 access to academics, attendance and job postings. Select programs offer social learning on iPads, which are included in the student kit.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Exam Prep

All of our programs include a mock state board test to prepare you for the state license exam and our kits include the state board kit and licensing fees.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Top Educators

We invest in our educators to ensure that they are trained in the latest industry techniques and trends.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »


Our relationships with high-end salons in Southern California allow students to network with top stylists and owners. (CA campuses only)

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

We Give Back

We have an undeniable passion for humanity. Our schools are honored to give back and participate in community events while utilizing our technical skills.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Multiple License Programs

Bellus is proud to offer combined courses that allow you to enroll in one program and graduate with multiple credentials.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Alumni Benefits

We give our graduates access to job postings, the opportunity to attend campus events and alumni scholarships for advanced education.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »


“The teachers were amazing! Without Bellus, I wouldn’t have the rewarding life I have today. School was something I looked forward to every single day. I can’t believe I have a job that I love going to every day.”

- Adrianna
Read more success stories »


“My life has changed so much. Within eight months of graduating, I now own a successful wax bar. I am forever grateful for the great education I received at Bellus Academy.”

- Jonyse
Read more success stories »


“For the past year I have been working on super-yachts in Spain as a massage therapist for billionaires and have loved every second of it! I don’t know what I would’ve done without Bellus’ training and expertise.”

- Clare
Read more success stories »


“I love how hands-on the nail program is at Bellus. I am a visual and hands-on learner and I appreciated the time and focus on my advancement throughout the program. I would definitely recommend Bellus Academy to anyone interested in beauty and wellness education, especially the nail program!”

- Kelsey
Read more success stories »


“The program and educators in Make-up Artistry are exceptional. The curriculum was so well designed that each day I couldn’t wait to get to school and begin the next step in learning high-end makeup. I feel very comfortable after taking this class to apply for a job anywhere in makeup, including a Hollywood studio, theater, photography or in a high-end salon and spa.”

- Jessica
Read more success stories »
man shave


“As a cosmo crossover, the Barbering Program was not only an excellent way to brush up on the basics, but also the best way to take my career to the next level. The staff was so helpful in every aspect and I highly recommend the program.”

- Johnny
Read more success stories »


View our Disclosures & Consumer Info along with the Net Price Calculator
Click here

Financial Aid

Yes! Financial Aid is available to those who qualify.
See financial aid options

Flexible Schedule

We offer day & night classes. We also have new classes starting every month.
See upcoming class starts