NHS’s Richard successfully juggles school, work

Published 6:05 pm Monday, February 29, 2016

NEDERLAND — A Nederland High School program that allows students a chance to earn credits for working while enrolled in their regular academic classes is preparing students for the future.

Dillen Richard, a junior, is enrolled in Maria Fontenot’s Marketing Practicum class as well as working at Powerhouse Gym in Port Neches. Students in the co-op work program can take core academic courses and drop all electives, replacing them with employment across the area.

“Dillen is an exceptional young man,” Fontenot said. “He plays basketball, holds down his job successfully and maintains an A average in all of his classes, most of which are advanced placement classes. He has a very bright future ahead of him and I’m very proud of his accomplishments as I’m sure his parents are as well.”

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On alternating days Richard heads to the gym for work at the front desk. He helps customers with memberships, sells various drinks and other items and works to make people feel welcome.

“The experience will help me in the future and is helping me now,” Richard said.

Through the time at work Richard has become more comfortable with speaking with people, he said.

“In the past I wasn’t able to talk to people. Now I always talk, it’s a lot easier,” he said.

Richard also enjoys basketball and is currently a member of the junior varsity team with plans to be on the varsity team next year.

Sports have been a part of Richard’s life since about the age of four when he began playing baseball. He continued for almost a decade, playing Little League then Select League. When he entered high school he discovered a love for basketball, he said.

In addition, Richard is a member of Terrific Nederland Teens, a group of students committed to being drug and alcohol free.

“We talk to younger kids, tell them our experiences in high school and lead them in the right path,” he said.

With such a busy lifestyle Richard doesn’t have much time for hobbies. To keep track of everything successfully he adheres to a strict schedule he created, he said.

Bill Jardell, director of the school’s career and technology education department, said students in the Practicum of Marketing Dynamics program must be disciplined to be successful — something Richard has achieved.

“He is able to maintain excellent grades in a pretty rigorous course load and handle basketball season,” Jardell said.

In the future, Richard plans to attend Lamar University for the basics then transfer to a dental school.

He is the son of Allen Richard and Diana Richard.

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