Currently: Working during a gap year and applying to dental schools

Status: Alumna

Degree: Human nutrition, foods, and exercise

Class year: 2022

On Ut Prosim: A shadowing opportunity with a dentist during the pandemic led Dalton to make a dental hygiene goodie bag for kids in her hometown, Hillsville, Virginia. She handed out bags filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, a sticker, and an infographic that she designed. Thus, Brush Up, a grassroots nonprofit created to promote dental health, was born. Numerous fourth and fifth graders have received the bag, and her infographic was used by Volunteers Around the World, an on-campus group, during a medical trip to Guatemala. Dalton plans to expand Brush Up’s presence by including the bags as part of a Backpack Buddies program in her home county. 

“When you're worried about shelter, food, clothes and bills, your teeth aren't really the first thing on your mind, and I totally understand that,” Dalton said. “While working, I saw many issues that could have been prevented by brushing alone. My original vision for Brush Up focused on my own community, but to my surprise, it has impact beyond the limits of Carroll County, Virginia.”

On how Virginia Tech impacted her: “The attitude of service on campus and among the faculty is so evident and empowering. The pre-dental groups I was a part of would send out weekly emails regarding volunteer opportunities not only at Virginia Tech but also surrounding areas. … That attitude of service, camaraderie, and friendship was present from both the academic and social perspective. The unity that the school presents is evident, and I knew that from the first time I toured it.”

On the importance of service for Virginia Tech’s future: “I think it's incredibly important to continue to put emphasis on the school’s motto throughout the coming years. There is so much opportunity at Virginia Tech, and the university administrators create that. They cultivate those opportunities. Not every college has that. I am grateful to have been a part of this school and its mission.”


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