Reagan Senior Student Hopes to Pursue a Career
By Amy Morgan
A childhood dream to become a dentist motivates senior student Sophia Garcia and has directed her curriculum choices at Ronald Reagan High School. Unlike many peers, she remembers loving going to the dentist as a child. A dental mishap that causes her mother to now suffer chronic pain did not dampen her dream. In fact, her mother’s injury further cemented it. While the tragedy has taken a toll on her family, “It has inspired me to become a better dentist,” she declared.
Sophia has been part of Reagan’s Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) but now spends much of her class time at NEISD’s CTech site, where she earned her dental assistant’s license in March. She praises her teacher, Ms. Sonya Brown, a licensed hygienist and assistant, who came to the district after 20 years of experience in the military.
“She is a wonderful teacher, and she doesn’t mess around,” Sophia said. CTech’s space includes a replicated dental office, with X-Ray machine and four operating chairs. Lab time allows her to master skills she’ll use soon in the real world. Sophia and her classmates have taken impressions, made retainers, attached tooth brackets and practiced X-Rays on “Dexter” the mannequin. The students also take pre-exams created to prepare them to pass the certification to become Registered Dental Assistants through the UT Health Science Center. The class will conclude with a job fair to help graduates find their first position in a dental office.
Although she now works as a hostess at Le Peep, Sophia looks forward to working in her field of interest to help defray the costs of tuition at the University of Incarnate Word. The Provost Scholarship she was awarded will also benefit, as the Biology Science major hopes to study abroad at one of 100 sister schools where she can participate in a dental public health mission. The practicing Catholic is an active member of Holy Trinity Church.
Sophia was born and raised in Stone Oak to high school sweethearts who graduated from Clark. As a San Antonio native, she loves celebrating Fiesta by attending the Battle of Flowers and River Parades with her parents’ families and childhood friends. One of her mom’s friends was even a past Rey Feo, she reported.
This motivated senior is well on her way to achieve her dental dreams, leaving big shoes for her younger brother, sophomore, John Paul, to fill.