Dalton Helvey

Major/Year: Food Science and Human Nutrition/2nd Year
Hometown: Sebring, Florida

Dalton is proud of his first generation identity. He surpassed the expectations of his Sebring community by attending a four-year university versus taking the route of going to state college first and then transferring. Dalton comes from a close knit family of which he is the eldest of his parents’ three sons. He sees himself as an example for his younger brothers. “I wanted to show my brothers that it is possible to go to a big university and be successful,” says Dalton. In fact, Dalton is motivated by the challenges he faced growing up. His parents divorced when he was in the 2nd grade and Dalton lived the first years with his mother and then decided to live with his father until graduating from high school. Dalton says, though his parents divorced, they remained friends. This allowed him to grow up in a loving family that supports everything he does.  

Dalton attributes his success to the foundation laid by the Take Stock in Children program and the continued support he gets from the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars program. Though Dalton describes himself as an independent person, he says it was nice to have an MFOS mentor for his freshman year. “I either have my mentor or Leslie [Pendleton].” He also found the MFOS section of First Year Florida to be beneficial to connect with other first generation students.

Dalton is a dynamic student with aspirations of becoming a Pediatric Dentist. He is currently an MFOS Peer Mentor, a Fitness Supervisor at UF RecSports, and a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Honor Society, Alpha Zeta. Dalton is also a youth group leader at Greenhouse Church, where he leads small groups and mentors boys in 6th – 12th grade.

Closing remark: "I always tell myself at the end of the day, stressing is going to get me nowhere; giving 100 percent in time and effort towards a goal will only keep me satisfied with the results I receive...stressing will not."