Elks scholars are devoted to improving their communities and the world through their unique knowledge and interests. This is true for 2016 Most Valuable Student scholar Dalton Price, sponsored by Port Orange, Fla., Lodge No. 2723. Dalton uses his passion for science to help like-minded high school students discover their vocation.
In high school, Dalton recognized his passion for science. During his sophomore year, he wanted to take the dense scientific knowledge learned in the classroom and apply it to professional research.
“I was repeatedly told to stop trying and that no high school student will be able to partake in such upper level research,” remembers Dalton. “However, I persisted and began working in my local hospital's microbiology lab.”
That first research project transformed his life, so he dedicated himself to improving high school students’ access to professional research. Dalton created YouResearch, a nonprofit that places high school students in local research labs under the guidance of experienced professors and matches the participant with college mentors.
“This is a way for me to empower students by allowing them to not only pursue their research interests, but also become data-driven leaders and make an impact through research,” says Dalton.
So far, Dalton and the YouResearch team have reached nearly 100,000 students in more than 120 countries. They have placed 16 high school juniors directly into research labs across the country as part of their Scholars Program.
Along with being the Founder and Executive Director of YouResearch, Dalton works for the Microbiome Coalition and is a Global Shaper for the World Economic Forum. He also writes for the Huffington Post. In his spare time, he studies policy analysis and management, health policy and business at Cornell University, his dream college.
“I know that the Elks community is one that I can always fall back on and connect with,” shares Dalton. “It is not about the funding or recognition—it’s about the people you meet and the opportunities they give you.”
For 2017-18, the Elks National Foundation allocated $2.89 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 500 four-year ranging from $4,000 to $50,000. For more information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, including eligibility and deadlines, visit enf.elks.org/MVS.