Santiago Zayco - Dental Lab Technician

StudentSantiago Zayco came to Bates by way of Wenatchee, where his uncle, a denturist, lives. He enrolled in a local community college to pursue a nursing degree, but because of encouragement from his uncle, decided to switch gears and work toward becoming a denturist.

A native of Bacolod City, Philippines, Santiago said his uncle gave Bates high recommendations, and spoke of his own success in the profession. "I liked the flexibility of being able to own my own clinic someday," said Santiago, who started the Dental Lab Technician program in 2009 while waiting for a spot to open in the Denturist program.

"Being in the dental lab program will ultimately make it easier for me to understand dentures in general," he said. "I like that as a denturist, I'll be able to work with the public and see different people all the time."

Santiago hopes to start the Denturist program in spring. After he earns his associate of technology degree, he will return home to gain work experience and eventually open his own business.

"If it wasn't for Bates, I would have never thought it would have been possible for me to be a denturist."