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Dalton White is a man with big dreams and a plan to reach them. A senior at Vandalia High School, Dalton is moving to California after graduation. While he anticipates enrolling at Santa Monica Community College, he intends to crack into the film industry. Dalton shares that his passion is acting, directing, and screenwriting. While he’s been interested in screenwriting since junior high, a trip to Las Angeles led Dalton to decide he was all-in.

Dalton White
Go and try to achieve what you want to do and don’t stop until you reach it.

“It’s exciting. There’s going to be a new chapter coming up that I need to get ready for. I think I’m ready for it,” shares Dalton. He adds, “I don’t have a backup plan, so it better work. If you keep looking at your Plan B, you lose sight of Plan A, and I don’t want to do that.”

While Dalton’s ambition may seem aggressive to some, his planning is logical and pragmatic. He’s currently scouting for roommates and ironing out various priorities associated with his relocation before enrolling in college. He shares that this will allow him to focus on finding employment and establishing a residence to be eligible for instate tuition. After completing Santa Monica Community College, he hopes to transfer to UCLA or Cal State—Long Beach.


Dalton credits his father’s wisdom and lessons learned through Vandalia athletics when discussing inspiration. He considers his father a ‘smart guy,’ sharing that his father has taught him a great deal. Dalton says, “One thing that he did teach me was to go and try to achieve what you want to do and don’t stop until you reach it.” Dalton and his father’s conversations often centered around sports. Dalton’s time on the court and field has been pivotal in how he views challenges. He suggests, “There’s been a lot of similarities between planning my trip and playing sports. A lot of things don’t work in sports. You’ve got to fix your motions and fundamentals. Trying to figure out how I will get out there’s been tough. I’ve had to rearrange things and switch plans.”


Dalton played baseball for two years, football for four years, and wrestled as a freshman. Athletics have always been important to him, and he was a standout lineman for the Vandals. Dalton shares that it’s likely he could have played college football. Colleges were scouting him, but while going on campus visits, he realized that football wouldn’t take him where he wanted to go and chose to chase his passion instead.


“I know, personally, there are a lot of things I want to see and do and be a part of, and I know it’s not going to happen around here. My theory is to fail while young so I can bounce back. I might as well take a shot at doing what I want, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll figure it out.”


Chasing dreams and coming of age have always been part of the American Dream. And while Dalton will always be from Vandalia, he’s realized his passion is likely elsewhere. With a grand vision and no Plan B, he’ll head west. He’ll struggle, and he’ll fail along the way. But he’ll also learn and grow and find success. And one day, we’ll all watch the credits of the movies a little more carefully, searching for the name Dalton White. I, for one, can already envision seeing it prominently scroll by.

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