PACE — Morgan Hall will not be denied her goal of becoming a licensed dental hygienist and returning home to start her career.

The 2015 Pace High School graduate will finish the dental hygiene program at Tallahassee Community College (TCC) on May 1, apply for her license in July and hopefully start working for a dentist in Pace where she wants to live.

"It’s been a dream of mine since I was little," Hall says of working in dentistry. "I have always loved going to the dentist."

Hall did not let obstacles get in the way of her dream and she did not waste any time.

"When I found out that the waiting list for the PSC (Pensacola State College) dental hygiene program was two years long, I looked for another school," Hall said.

She found a program she liked at TCC and immediately enrolled and moved to Tallahassee.

That was two years ago.

Hall has met almost all the criteria to graduate and has taken and passed her National and State Board exams. The only things left to finish are her Clinical Boards and applying for a license.

The Clinical Boards may be a little difficult for her to complete because she decided to take that particular board in Pensacola.

"For this board you have to find your own patient with fairly extensive calculus (a form of hardened dental plaque)," Hall said. "I don't know anyone in the local area like that."

Hall said TCC gave her plenty of patients to practice on while a student.

Recently Hall and other TCC second-year dental hygiene students conducted oral screenings for 59 athletes competing in the Leon County Special Olympics.

"We screened the athletes and cleaned their teeth, gave them oral hygiene instruction, wrote referrals if needed and gave them information on tobacco cessation," Hall said.

All second-year students have to work externships at TCC. Hall completed her work at a VA clinic, a pediatric dentist office, a periodontal office and a homeless shelter.

Hall's favorite part of the dental hygiene program was on clinic days. They would see two patients a day because each patient exam with a student hygienist and the instructor lasted about three hours.

"We mainly saw people without insurance," Hall said. "We charged them $10 for a cleaning and $15 for x-rays."

Her least favorite part of the program was studying for the National Boards. Hall said she studied four months to get ready for the 350-question test that took her six-and-a-half hours to complete.

"I'm way more passionate about dental work now," Hall said about finishing her dental hygiene program.