HCHS Senior Dallas Sergent secures prestigious internship opportunity

Published 10:22 am Friday, May 3, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

As the academic year draws to a close, many high school seniors are eagerly anticipating their graduation day, but for Kenneth “Dallas” Sergent, the journey is just beginning.

 Despite not yet having walked across the stage to receive his diploma from Harlan County High School, Sergent has already secured a summer filled with promise and opportunity.

Sergent has been accepted into the highly competitive Arch Resources Inc.’s Leer Mine Summer Internship Program, a prestigious opportunity typically reserved for university students pursuing degrees in engineering. However, Sergent’s exceptional achievements and dedication have earned him a spot among the program’s ranks, making him one of the first high school seniors to participate.

Email newsletter signup

The internship presents a comprehensive experience for students enrolled in accredited engineering degree programs. It encompasses various disciplines, including mining, electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering. Participants undergo onsite training, including an 80-hour Red Hat Certification apprenticeship, offering invaluable hands-on experience in different facets of the mining operation. From continuous mining units to construction and maintenance, longwall production, and engineering, interns are immersed in diverse areas tailored to their interests.

 Bill Haines, human resources manager for the Leer Mine complex, highlighted Sergent’s exceptional qualities that caught the attention of the selection committee.

 “Dallas was chosen for our Program due to his outstanding attitude; maintaining outstanding academic achievements, while participating in multiple high school sports; and the solid support from his family,” said Haines. “Dallas’ dedication to excellence both inside and outside the classroom set him apart, showcasing his potential for success in the field of engineering.”

 Reflecting on his achievement, Sergent expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity afforded to him.

 “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity,” he remarked. “There are very few kids straight out of high school that get to participate in an internship like this,” said Sergent.

 His sense of pride extends beyond personal accomplishment; it is deeply rooted in his family’s history and the legacy of hard work within the coal mining industry.

 “I take pride in what my family came from,” he explained. “Now I get to continue it on, but at a larger level,” he said.

Dallas’ journey serves as a testament to the growing recognition of Harlan County High School’s academic programs. With a robust curriculum encompassing engineering and high-level mathematics, the school has become a beacon of opportunity for students like Sergent.

“People are becoming aware of the caliber of classes that Harlan County High School is offering,” Sergent remarked proudly. “Our school has such a great math and engineering program, which is what people look for when going into a career such as engineering.”

As Sergent prepares to embark on this exciting chapter of his academic and professional journey, he offers words of encouragement to his peers. “Most kids are not aware of what all is available to them; you just need to explore,” he advises. “With hard work and commitment to your education, HCHS can take you beyond what you can imagine.”

Sergent’s acceptance into the internship program is not only a testament to his individual achievements, but also a symbol of the boundless opportunities that await students who dare to dream and pursue excellence.

As he prepares to embrace the challenges and experiences that lie ahead, Dallas serves as an inspiration to his peers and a shining example of the potential that lies within the halls of Harlan County High School.

He is the son of Dallas and Marlene Sergent.