Car Maintenance Program: Helping single parents stay on the road

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Pictured from left to right: Rosie Lopez, Brianna Lopez, Catherine Reaper, Linda Harris, Veronica Marshall, Tre Marshall and Nicole Garmany.

The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, in partnership with Advance Auto Parts, Covington Tire and Lube, and Home Depot, recently hosted its first Car Maintenance Program for single parent scholarship recipients. The workshop focused on general maintenance to help single parents maintain their vehicles, maximize fuel economy, increase the life of older cars, and avoid costly repairs. The free workshop was open to scholarship recipients from Jackson, Izard, Fulton, Stone, and Independence Counties.

Each recipient learned how to inspect tires, check the air pressure, check oil, determine if more frequent oil changes were necessary, clean battery terminals, check fluids, the importance of long term service, how to determine correct amount/type of fluids for each vehicle, and how to change air filters, windshield wiper fluids, and power steering fluid.

The single-parent participants praised the program. “I learned that most of the preventative care on my car, I can do myself,” said Tiffany Traw, an attendee and scholarship recipient. “Being a single mom of three, I pinch my pennies as much as possible. That pushes things back that need to be done to my car. But I learned, if I do these things myself, I can cut the costs. I also learned that I need to pay better attention to what my cars oil looks, feels and smells like. These are things I was not aware of before. I am now able to locate my air filter as well. And I can even teach my kids how to do these things when they get older.”

As part of a grant, each workshop participant received a car kit containing flashlight, emergency triangle, emergency roadside flare, jumper cables, electrical duct tape, tarp, tools, zip ties, fix of flat, battery terminal brush, and portable air compressor. With the assistance of volunteers Renee Meeler (DHS) and Veronica Marshall of Independence County, each participant left with a greater understanding of their car and a checklist of items they needed to budget for such as a new battery. “Having this information allows the single parents to plan for repairs and helps them to keep their transportation in top condition since many drive over 100 miles round trip for classes,” stated Alodia Hankins, Program Manager.

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund for Independence County has been active since 1990 awarding more than 612 scholarships. Scholarships are awarded to single parents who are working toward higher education to provide a better life for their families. If you are a single parent in school or interested in enrolling, visit for information on eligibility criteria and how to apply. To learn more about becoming a volunteer or donating to the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, visit

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