New Student Spotlight: Halle Garcia

Halle Garcia
Halle Garcia

Dental Assistant major receives $2,500 Workforce Development Scholarship

Halle Garcia, 17, grew up in Champlin, Minnesota, and will be graduating from Champlin Park High School in spring 2018. Halle has enrolled at Dakota County Technical College with the goal to earn her Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in the Dental Assistant program.

Halle is the recipient of a $2,500 Workforce Development Scholarship for 2018–2019. Half the amount, $1,250, she can use toward fall 2018 educational expenses. She will receive another $1,250 to use toward spring 2019 expenses if she maintains a 2.0 GPA or higher for fall 2018 while enrolled at DCTC with at least nine credits in both fall and spring semesters.

“I just feel very fortunate about receiving a scholarship that will help me out a lot financially,” Halle said. “I think it’s a great thing when people donate money or fund any scholarship in general.”

Michelle Boe, interim executive director of foundation at DCTC and Inver Hills Community College, reported that Minnesota State has offered 400 Workforce Development Scholarships of $2,500 each for students enrolling in high-demand programs at state colleges.

“Halle and other DCTC Workforce Development Scholarship recipients will be attending the Foundation Donor Recognition Breakfast in January or February 2019,” Michelle said. “We will celebrate DCTC scholarship recipients at the event and will also recognize our generous donors who provide scholarship funding for so many of our students.”

Learn more about Workforce Development Scholarships:
Read “Minnesota State Announces 400 Scholarships” on DCTC News.

After graduating from DCTC, Halle has plans to continue her studies and obtain a degree in dental hygiene. “I love science and I am interested in learning more about the dental field,” she said. “I plan to further my education in dentistry to move up in the field. My long-range goal is to become a dental hygienist.”

Halle is looking forward to attending DCTC as an active and engaged student. “I’m interested in Student Senate mainly because it’s a good way to get involved in the school and meet new people. I’m graduating with honors at my high school, so maybe I’ll look more into Phi Theta Kappa.”

She’s also thinking about trying out for the Blue Knights women’s NJCAA DI soccer team at DCTC. “Soccer is something I’m debating on getting involved in just so I’m staying active,” she said.

Three words that describe you as a college student:

More about Halle Garcia…

Halle works at Lifetime Fitness, where she’s a LifeCafe team member. She also works at Radiant Montessori as a teacher’s aide. She plans on relocating to Rosemount when she starts college so she won’t be able to continue working at her current jobs because the commute would be too long.

“I do love my jobs and wish I could continue working,” she said. “Ideally, I will find work as a waitress while I’m going to school just because the hours are flexible hours and you can make good money with hourly pay and tips.”

Halle’s favorite sport is ice hockey and she’s played since she was 8 years old. “I love hockey and will always love the game, but I’ve also played soccer since I was three,” she said, adding that she enjoys doing crafts that involve design or things she can put in her room or her house.

She has five brothers, two biological, Joey, 16, and Taylor, 19. Her three stepbrothers are fraternal triplets age 16, Parker, Cooper and Hunter.

“They are not at all alike,” Halle said, referring to the triplets. “They are total opposites.”

Dental Assistants

Set up dental equipment, prepare patients, and keep records.


Above the statewide median of $19.62/hour


Median: $23.02/hour
High: $26.03/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $23.78/hour
High: $27.56/hour


This career is currently in high demand and is seeing very high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 11.7 percent, or well above the statewide average. There will be a need for about 2,000 new Dental Assistants to meet market demand between 2014–2024. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

— Minnesota State CAREERwise Education

Halle Garcia • 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Ice hockey
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Italy
  3. The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Went parasailing over the Gulf of Mexico.
  4. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Always find something nice to say.”
  5. Favorite all-time TV show: Criminal Minds
  6. Favorite all-time movie: Miracle on Ice
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Receive two degrees, one in dental assisting and one in dental hygiene
  8. Most precious material possession: My pillow pet
  9. Dream occupation: Dental hygienist
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Zach Parise
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: How to draw
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Mental illness
To learn more about the Dental Assistant program at DCTC, contact:

Diana Sullivan
Dental Assistant Faculty

Carrie Erickson
Dental Assistant Faculty

For more information about the Foundation, contact:

Michelle Boe, JD
Interim Executive Director of Foundation
Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College
DCTC Office: 651-423-8236
Inver Hills Office: 651-450-3519

Amy Eppen
Foundation Assistant Director

To learn more about Workforce Development Scholarships, contact:

Heath Baumgard
Director of Recruitment and Admissions
Dakota County Technical College