Dalton McDonald, Winner Of Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar Award

Coca Cola announced that Joshua Pickering had won Santa Fe College’s first-ever Coca Cola New Century Scholar yesterday, April 12, 2016. There is however another very exciting announcement to be made. A winner of yet another Coca Cola Scholarship Award needs to me made mention of as well. Not to be outdone, Dalton McDonald has been selected as a 2016 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar! Selection as a Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar was based on scores the student earned in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition, for which more than 1,900 applications were received this year. This program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Dalton grew up in Berlin, Germany and attended the bilingual John F. Kennedy School from kindergarten through twelfth grade.  He moved here with essentially nothing but a U.S. passport and a small amount of savings. Dalton graduated with a U.S. high school diploma in 2010, and in early 2011 joined his father in Belize.  In summer 2012, he visited Gainesville, Florida and after only 10 days decided to move to Gainesville to start a new chapter in his life.  He wanted to be entirely independent from his parents, so he establish a life for himself through hard work and merit.  For his first year in Gainesville, he could not afford to pay out-of-state tuition.  Rather than go into debt by taking out loans, he established permanent Florida residency and worked multiple jobs to both support himself and to save money for college.

While working hard to earn a 3.88 GPA on an AA-degree track in preparation to transfer to the UF National Sciences Program, Dalton supports himself with a Pell Grant, Florida Supplemental Grant, and an SF Board of Trustees Scholarship.  Until recently, he worked multiple jobs totaling near full-time hours.  When his academics suffered last semester as a result of working so many hours, Dalton did not quit school, he gave up his jobs instead.  He made ends meet by reducing spending to rent, utilities, and groceries. He sold his personal belongings like, his bed, bicycle, and TV while in addition, giving up his phone service.

Dalton’s academic major is Nutritional Sciences, and his professional goal is to become a Nutritionist. In addition to his academics, Dalton is involved with the UF Organic Gardening Cooperative serving as Vice President and has farmed his own plot near the UF Bat House for the past two years.  Last semester, he organized service projects for Phi Theta Kappa and the Honors Program at Porter’s Community Farm, and the garden at Howard Bishop Middle School (HBMS).  The Porters Farm produces fresh produce for the St. Francis House homeless shelter, while the food from the HBMS garden is used in the school cafeteria.  His participation in local gardening connects with his personal interest in organic farming.

Congratulations Dalton! Santa Fe College is proud to have you as one of our very own!Da