Dr. Alex Ellis stands out in a crowd – not just because he is 6’5” tall.

Dressed as if he’s on the way to close a business deal, when people see him suited and booted, dressed to the 9s or what old-school people call ‘casket sharp,’ they know he’s on a mission.

He’s a man with goals. You probably won’t see Ellis in sweatpants unless he’s headed to or from the gym.

Most people confirm their expectations of success for themselves started because someone else expected great things of them. Ellis, who holds a doctorate’s degree in urban ministries, a master’s in theological studies and a bachelor’s degree, agrees.

“People look at you and make assumptions and judgments about you simply based of how you look. So whether you think that’s fair or not it’s a reality in the country we live in. Use your image to work for you and not against you,” said Ellis.

Unshaven faces, loose-fitting clothes and unpolished shoes give a negative impression that oftentimes follows young boys into manhood.

Ellis, a New Jersey native, said even though single mothers do a good job raising children without a man in the house, a boy needs a male father figure to teach him some of life’s most important lessons during his transition to adulthood. That’s where Tied To Greatness comes in.

It’s Ellis’ non-profit organization. He’s the founder and CEO. Partnering with men in their local communities, Ellis speaks to males at inner city high schools around the country about the importance of their image, character and esteem. With so many young men growing without a father figure, Ellis said his organization has positively impacted more than 8,000 young men in nine years. Although esteem and character are developed on the inside, Ellis said the outside image goes hand-in-hand.

“Manhood is a journey. It’s a constant evolution of our mindset, our vocabulary and its about the enhancement of style,” said Ellis.

Ellis’ latest appearance was at MegaFest in Dallas Independence Day weekend. He also created a video series to teach the art of shaving, how to tie a tie and how to correctly polish your shoes among other things.For more information on his organization, contact him at TiedtoGreatness.org.

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