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For sophomore Dalton McCuiston, college is about exploring opportunities, gaining experiences and growth. Completing his second year at Olivet, he has joined several groups on campus and even led some of his own initiatives.

Dalton is from Fort Wayne, Indiana. He initially chose Olivet because of its athletic atmosphere, but after, stayed for the individualized attention and commitment to students. A double major, Dalton is ambitiously studying marketing and financial planning with an unique combined minor of environmental science.

In addition, Dalton just completed his term serving as vice president for Olivet’s Student Government Association and was recently elected as president for the 2017-18 academic year. His goal is to help foster connections between Olivet College and the surrounding community through involvement with local businesses. He is also a member of the nationally-ranked boxing team, brother of Elite fraternity, and enjoys being surrounded by other hard working, like-minded individuals.

“I have a lot of similarities with my brothers,” said Dalton. “One of them is that, for many of us, no one encouraged us to go to college or we were even told that college wasn’t an option, but we made it and we are all serious about earning an education.”

Current, active members of Elite. Dalton is pictured back row, second from right.

In high school, Dalton said that going to college wasn’t a topic discussed frequently, and that the resources to help him get there were scarce. Now, he’s working to change that for young students by becoming a resource for academic support and motivation to put one’s best foot forward. Dalton came up with the idea to mentor middle school students in order to plant the seed of college young. He worked with the principal of Olivet Middle School to arrange times twice a week after school for Dalton and his brothers to help local students with their homework and share their experiences as college students.

Dalton and the other volunteers have been well received and assist students with studying for tests in subjects like math, science, history and spelling, as well as aid with other homework. Additionally, the college students express the importance of reading and how that plays an important role in learning. The mentors’ motto is “Cool Kids Get Good Grades,” and they are working to give T-shirts to the participants to thank them for their involvement and help spread the word of the program.

“When something gets hard, the easiest option is always to quit, including school,” Dalton said. “I want to encourage students to improve themselves and keep going by showing them how successful I have been by continuing my education.”

Dalton said that everyone he encounters at Olivet encourages him to follow his dreams. Currently, he’s working with Diane Kirkham, internship coordinator, to help him discover his career path. Also, Dalton is putting his environmental science knowledge to use working with Pat Fields, associate professor of biology, as the two discuss how to plant more trees on campus, including the possibility of planting a tree in honor of each graduating class.

Overall, Dalton says his mom is his biggest supporter, and that he owes her more than he could ever repay her for all of her love, encouragement and motivation. “My mom has been a lifelong student herself,” said Dalton, “and the type of person I want to model myself after. She taught me that giving to those around you is a key to happiness and success.”

For the remainder of Dalton’s time at Olivet, he has big ideas and even bigger goals, which he had the opportunity to share with the Olivet College Board of Trustees earlier this spring. For starters, he is definitely going to continue the mentoring initiative for a second year and focus on getting more students involved. Further, Dalton would like to encourage other groups on campus to build partnerships with local businesses and begin consistent volunteer work, specifically with the Eaton County Humane Society in mind. And while it’s still just a crazy idea in the back of his head, Dalton added that he sees the campus turning to renewable energy, such as the implementation of solar panels, sometime in the future and he’d love to be a part of that.

Learn more about Olivet College’s cool kids, academic programs and extracurricular activities, or schedule a campus visit to experience it all for yourself. Our admissions representatives are waiting to guide you through your educational journey now, contact them at admissions@olivetcollege.edu or 800.456.7189.

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