Providing Adults a Streamlined Approach to Earning Your High School Equivalency or GED


Jesse Figueroa, M.Ed., CMPI

Interim Director

Jesse Figueroa is Lead Mathematics Instructor and Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training instructor at Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona (ALPS).  He completed his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and his master’s degree in Human Relations at Northern Arizona University. He recently completed the Leadership Excellence Academy where he earned a Certified Manager of Program Improvement certificate and collaborated in the College and Career Ready Institute as mandated by the Arizona Department of Education’s Adult Education Services profile team.

Maria Duarte


Maria Duarte has been with ALPS for nine years. When she first came to Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona (ALPS), she began teaching Spanish to Yuma’s Winter Visitors and English to workers at various job sites in town. Later, she started teaching Basic Math and Basic Reading and Writing. Over time, she addressed the needs of students who were unable to read. Today, she helps students prepare to get their GED/HSE.

Maria says one of her most challenging but rewarding initiative at ALPS was helping a blind student obtain his GED.

Anna Estrada

Administrative Assistant

Anna Estrada is the administrative assistant at Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona (ALPS).

She currently studies at Arizona Western College working on her Bachelor’s in Business Administration (B.B.A.). Her primary interest in the business field is in office organization and a majority of her experience comes from hands-on work at ALPS. She is responsible for managing the workflow in and out of the ALPS office as well as providing support to the instructional and administrative staff as needed.


Blanca Garcia


Blanca Garcia was born in Mexico and came to the United States when she was 18 years old. At that time, she had left high school in Mexico and graduated from a private school as a Private Accountant. 

When she came to the United States, she started taking ESL classes in a program just like Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona (ALPS). After that, she went to the University of the Pacific in California where she graduated from a High School Equivalence Program with honors. Then she went to Delta College where she began taking Business courses.

Maria Johnson


Maria Adelaida Johnson began working with Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona (ALPS) in 2000 when it was called “Yuma Reading Council.” During that time frame, she taught GED preparation, English as a Second Language, Spanish for Careers, Citizenship Preparation, and Distance Learning. In 2006, she decided to return to the public school system for a while and then came back to work at ALPS in 2011. Now she teach all levels of ESL (ELAA) at ALPS and says she loves it.

Frank Orduno


Frank Orduno has been an instructor at Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona (ALPS) for six years as ABE/GED Instructor. Prior to ALPS, he worked for 28 years as a Technician and manager for the company formerly known as Qwest Communications. His second career was a teacher of English for Second Language learners at Crane Middle School for six and a half years.








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