Student Spotlight: Holden Herrera

Holden Herrera
Holden Herrera

Business management major working toward owning and operating restaurant

Holden Herrera, 24, of Farmington, Minnesota, is a full-time student at Dakota County Technical College, majoring in Business Management while working full-time as a school-age teacher and co-teacher in the 4-year-old class at The Clubhouse in Rosemount, Minnesota. Holden is on track to graduate from DCTC with his Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in December 2018. A transgender student, he grew up as Amanda Herrera and changed his name to Holden last year.

A graduate of Farmington High School, class of 2012, Holden has a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ in preschool. His long-range academic plans are centered on attending the University of St. Thomas or the University of Minnesota to earn a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in business education.

“One of my career goals is to teach business courses at Farmington High School,” Holden said. “I would also like to open and manage a Mexican family and buffet-style restaurant with my mom. She knows a great deal about restaurant operations and I can bring a lot to the business with my college education.”

Holden’s mom, Barb, works multiple jobs, including manager at Cleary Lake Veterinary Hospital. His dad, Braulio, is a tradesman who is raising Holden’s 4-year-old sister, Lucy, who has been diagnosed with Level 3 autism. Holden’s 21-year-old brother, Joey, resides in Colorado and makes music under the name NJoy.

When he’s not working and studying, Holden enjoys painting and decorating. He loves to attend shows and festivals—his favorite performer is Excision and he’s gone to Lost Lands, a music festival held in Ohio.

Holden Herrera gallery

Holden Herrera Q & A

Holden Herrera

Holden Herrera

Why did you choose your career field?
I developed a strong love for business in high school from all the courses offered. Ms. Luecke, Ms. Stewart and Ms. Moen, my teachers, were huge players in shaping my future career choices.

What has been your toughest challenge in life?
I stumbled the first time I attended college and that set me back quite a bit, but I’m still young and have the time to learn from that misstep. You grow in your 20s, build in your 30s and chill in your 40s. I’m a strong believer in that approach to life.

Three words that describe you as a college student:

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Putting myself back in school and doing well. I’m also engaged to Jocelyn, which is great. I proposed to her on New Year’s Eve 2016.

What person has influenced you the most in life?
It’s not just one, but many. My family has been super-supportive with all the decisions I’ve made. But I’d say my mother, my fiancée, Jocelyn, my brother, Joey, and my grumpa.

Holden Herrera gallery

More about Business Management at DCTC…

The Business Management program provides working adults with the essential knowledge, skills and abilities to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive business environment. As a student in the program, you will acquire the competencies that can be universally applied to global and local organizations in the profit, nonprofit and public sectors.

You can individualize your A.A.S. degree by selecting an emphasis area and completing two of the following certificates:

Holden Herrera | 21 Answers

Holden Herrera

  1. Favorite season: Fall
  2. Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): Rocky Mountains
  3. Favorite sport or physical activity: NFL football—Vikings are going to Superbowl LII
  4. Your national bird if you could have one: Toucan because I’m crazy, loud and colorful
  5. Place you would most like to visit: Hawaii or Spain or Greece
  6. Favorite holiday: Halloween
  7. Your national mammal if you could have one: Polar bear
  8. Favorite actor or actress: Channing Tatum
  9. Favorite band or performing artist: Excision and Kane Brown
  10. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “You’re here for a reason; don’t let anyone tell you different!”
  11. Coolest thing in the world: Selflessness
  12. Scariest thing in the world: Politics
  13. Favorite all-time TV show: Grey’s Anatomy
  14. Favorite all-time movie: Norbit
  15. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Owning my own business
  16. Most precious material possession: My 2017 Dodge Journey
  17. First thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: I would buy my mother a house because that’s something she’s always wanted; I would also buy myself a house
  18. Dream occupation: Own and operate a Mexican family-style restaurant
  19. Person you would most like to meet: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
  20. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Accounting
  21. Humankind’s greatest challenge: Working together, misplaced judgment and taking on our own mistakes
To learn more about the Business Management program at DCTC, contact:

Harold Torrence
Business Management Faculty

Scott Gunderson
Business Management Faculty