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Zelma Petty


Zelma Petty lives in Tomball and is the parent of a teenage son with developmental disabilities. After years of advocating for her son’s education, Petty joined Texas Partners in Policymaking to expand her advocacy knowledge and bring about positive systems change. Professionally, she works as an engineering technician for oil and gas companies. “My goal related to my advocacy work is to get my teenage son involved in self-advocacy,” said Petty. “I feel it’s important to for me to lead by example. Another goal is to be a role model for my community by getting more minorities involved in advocacy work.”

Project Title

Transition Employment: Inclusion for Young Adults 

Project Description

Many parents of children in the Tomball Independent School District have no idea what their kids will do after graduating from high school. They have no job prospects, resume, or interview skills. Many employers in the Tomball community have no idea there’s an untapped talent pool of young adults graduating from high school. The goal of this project is to increase employment opportunities for teens and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Tomball community. Petty strives to involve parents in educating their local business owners about the benefits of hiring our young adults, without a 14c. The project aims to bring awareness to the Tomball community of the benefits gained from the inclusion of eager, capable, loyal, willing young adults in the workforce.