Our Team

Jessica Petrass

Associate Director, Education

Jessica currently serves as the Associate Director of Education at John Burton Advocates for Youth. In this role, Jessica leads the Foster Youth College Advancement Project, an initiative of the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative, that convenes a robust network of leaders in L.A. County to co-design systems improvements and collaborative strategies to increase postsecondary attainment for current and former foster youth in the region. Jessica also provides technical assistance, capacity building and training to public agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.

Prior to her work at John Burton Advocates for Youth, Jessica spent nearly 15 years working with transition-age youth (TAY) in a direct service capacity, many of whom were current and former foster youth and youth experiencing homelessness. Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has experience providing therapeutic services, including crisis-management, to youth ages 5-21. Jessica designed and managed a youth drop-in center in Pasadena, California that served as a one-stop-shop of supportive services to meet the wholistic needs of youth. She earned her B.A. at the University of San Diego and her Master’s in Social Welfare with an emphasis in Organizations, Communities and Policy Settings from UCLA.