Visually impaired HCC student targets Diesel Mechanic Repair Certificate

Feb 17, 2022

Student Leon Hosea uses a specialized micrometer that aids his work on diesel repairs.


Earning an HCC diesel maintenance and repair certificate is a challenge that requires mechanical knowledge and the ability to master technologies used in the much-in-demand field.

HCC student Leon Hosea is working hard to achieve that goal. But mastering the curriculum and showing his skills aren’t the only hurdles he must clear.

Hosea lost his vision in 2014, which meant suspending his career as an aviation mechanic. “That wasn’t easy to take,” the 34-year-old said. “I’ve cried all the tears you can cry about it. I knew I had to keep going. And I believe that HCC’s diesel maintenance and repair training program will help me achieve my goal of working in this field.”

Hosea is studying at HCC’s Transportation Center of Excellence at its Automotive Technology Training Center under the tutelage of veteran instructor Hector Hernandez and other faculty members. He hopes to graduate with his certificate in December.

Inspired by Hosea’s efforts in class, Hernandez found himself wondering if any additional tools existed that could help the student complete some tasks that sighted students take for granted. He did some research and contacted a Massachusetts-based company, Starrett Tools, to ask if one of its digital micrometers could be helpful to visually impaired persons to make precision measurements. Such readings are required in day-to-day mechanical work.

Bobby Williams, a regional sales representative, responded and offered to come to HCC to provide an in-class demonstration of a digital micrometer he recommended. Hosea was introduced to the tool during a class. He was able to take measurements that were transmitted to a phone and “read” to him aloud.

Then came a surprise: Williams told Hosea that he could use the tool as long as he needed it since it now belonged to him. “You can use it for your career ahead,” Williams said.

Hosea was almost speechless at the generosity of the company and his instructor to acquire the device. “To do all that for me shows how much people at HCC really do care,” Hosea said. “Mr. Hernandez and my instructors are fantastic. I feel the same about everybody in my class. Everyone has been supportive and encouraging to me.”

HCC instructors strive to take that approach with every student, said Hugh Mann, diesel maintenance and repair training program chair. “While Mr. Hosea obviously will face some hurdles that others may not, he’s a dedicated student, and I think he has the attitude and drive required to succeed,” Mann said. “I believe our program will open another door for him and his future.”

For more information on diesel maintenance and repair training program, contact the HCC Transportation Center of Excellence at 713-718-8100 or visit

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