Lone Star College, Petra Cares partner to assist students in the Foster Care System

THE WOODLANDS, TX — The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reported nearly 2,000 children in Harris and Montgomery counties are living in the foster care system. Of these, almost 1,000 will soon turn 18 and leave the program.

These young adults may experience homelessness, unemployment, or incarceration. Lone Star College has partnered with Petra Cares to provide these youth with an educational opportunity that will lead to sustainable careers.

“Lone Star College is excited to partner with Petra Cares on this great opportunity to help students who are leaving the care system learn a trade and find rewarding careers,” said Connor O’Sullivan, LSC Continuing Education executive director. “Students often struggle in college for non-academic reasons such as childcare, housing and transportation costs. Petra has stepped up to help in these areas so our students can focus on learning.”

The partnership will enroll and train approximately 60 students each year in the LSC Automotive Lubrication Technician program. In addition, Petra Cares provides students with transportation, course materials, tools, childcare, technical training, and life skills.

“Education breaks the cycle of poverty,” said Arnold Gacita, President of Petra Automotive Products and CEO of Petra Cares. “Petra Cares aims to be a conduit for quality education and meaningful employment for this marginalized group of young people.”

The partnership between LSC and Petra Cares will launch its first cohort in spring 2023 with 10 to 20 students. The LSC Automotive Lubrication Technician program is a 192-hour, six-week course that focuses on an introduction to automotive technology, basic service skills and an overview of electrical systems. The goal is to train students in the skills needed to seek employment as an automotive lubrication technician dealing with basic preventive maintenance and other routine automotive care.

Upon completion of the LSC Automotive Lubrication Technician program, graduates receive a certificate and Petra Cares offers free auto mechanic training and placements with its industry partners.

In addition to this partnership, LSC has other programs that support students raised in the foster care system. The Lone Star College Navigators assist individuals with transportation, childcare, housing assistance, and other useful services. Visit LoneStar.edu/Navigators for more information.

Lone Star College enrolls over 80,000 students each semester and provides high quality, affordable academic transfer and career education. Educating tomorrow’s workforce today, LSC is redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as Chancellor of LSC, the largest college in the Houston area, and was named #35 in Texas by the Chronicle of Higher Education as a 2022 Great Colleges to Work For® Institution in the Forbes Named America’s Best Employers By State and recognized as one of this year’s Best Places to Work in Texas™ by Fortune Magazine and Great Place To Work®. LSC consists of eight colleges, seven centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence and the Lone Star Corporate College. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.