Providing our community a streamlined approach to High School Equivalency, college readiness and workforce preparation



Gabriela Felix Lorona

Ten years ago, I dropped out of High School because I found the love of my life and got married.  During that time, I thought a diploma was not necessary since my life was complete in a certain way.  Unfortunately, all that happiness went away two years ago when my life changed completely.

On August 16, 2019 my husband passed away unexpectedly, and that day, I made a promise to him that I was going to find a way to finish High School in order to get into college for a better future for our two little kids.  

First, I want to thank God for giving me the strength to keep going on and for the amazing teachers I had; Ms. Shondra and Mrs. Tiana from Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest AZ.  They are the best and sweetest people on earth.  Thank you so much for all your help.  This wouldn't have happened without you both.

Last but not least, thank you for all the support my family has given me, and those two little kids of mine that give me the power to keep on going. 

Thank you all for this diploma that is dedicated to my husband.


Amanda Gonzalez

On behalf of the management team at Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona (ALPS), I would like to showcase Amanda Gonzalez, a WIOA Youth Intern referred by Youth Specialist, Melissa Lovett. Amanda began interning as an Administrative Assistant II at ALPS in September.

From the very beginning, Amanda’s effective Workforce Training has been exercised quickly in her daily practices. She’s constantly developing leadership skills and giving herself a competitive advantage as she pursues permanent employment in the public sector.

The management team at ALPS would like to extend its appreciation for the amazing work done by Amanda Gonzalez in such a short amount of time: achieving specific goals on a timely manner, putting extra effort whilst multi-tasking daily routine projects, generating new ideas for program consideration/implementation, and being a good role model for new clients, students, and staff are but a few skills and abilities that Amanda has brought to the program, and these cannot go unnoticed.

Her diligence, self-motivation, and dedication to always go the extra mile in order to achieve the best possible results are really admirable. The management team at ALPS knows the amount of effort that Amanda puts into her intern position, and the team wants to assure her that her efforts are significantly appreciated.

We are lucky to have Amanda on our team!

Jesse Figueroa, M.Ed.
Program Director
Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona


Reyna Rios


I enrolled in the Integrated Education and Training program and had the opportunity to learn about multiple career options in the Retail Industry and gained many customer service skills that are transferable within any industry. I obtained certification as a Retail Industry Fundamentals Specialist, a Customer Service and Sales Certified Specialist, and a Business of Retail Certified Specialist.

I enjoyed learning about and gaining better understanding of the retail cycle, sales and operations basics, basic math skills, loss prevention, workplace safety, calculating profits margins, being professional, and navigating a job search for effective interviewing. I always heard that the customer is always right, and also learned in these courses that each client is unique, and it is my job to understand their needs. It’s my pleasure to provide good customer service.

I am currently working for a retail company using the skills I learned in the courses, and I'm happy that I was able to take advantage of the program, and now feel personal satisfaction in my life. I want to thank my teacher Shondra Dyer for her patience to teach and to help me step by step with these certifications that have made a difference in my life. I also want to thank Jesse Figueroa, the director of ALPS, for making this possible for me.


Alma Ramirez Corrales


My name is Alma Ramirez Corrales, I am a former ESL Integrated English Language and Civics Education (IELCE + T) and current Adult Basic Education (ABE) student at Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona (ALPS) in Yuma, AZ. I first heard about this school through an ALPS student and friend who informed me that this school could help me learn English and complete my High School Equivalency (HSE). During that time, I was unemployed, and I needed a study program that could work around my busy family schedule. Because ALPS offers various ESL classes throughout the day, the school was the perfect choice for me. I was placed in ESL level 2; that was 3 years ago.

I began this school year as an ESL level 4/5 student. My teacher, Maria Johnson, introduced the year with a new textbook, Challenger 4, from New Readers Press; and I noticed my reading and writing scores began to increase quickly. I loved the textbook’s reading and writing opportunities that led to many interesting class discussions. My listening and speaking skills assessment scores soon increased, as well.

As I continued to progress through the semester, my wonderful ESL teacher inspired me to ‘challenge’ myself and attempt transitioning into the school’s ABE program. She introduced me to the Reading and Writing teacher, Tiana Crumbley, who was interested in using the Challenger 8 series to differentiate my instruction. I accepted the challenge and transitioned to ABE classes in the fall. The program offers a fully interactive, hands-on learning approach to language through Face-to-Face instruction and various technology software applications. Since then, I have completed two IET certified credentials in retail, will be taking my HSE exam in the fall, getting ready to attend my first year of community college in the spring of 2021, and have started my own catering business.

I fully recommend students in need college and career preparation to enroll at Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona. The school’s challenging curriculum, blended instruction, student services, amazing teachers, staff and director are Yuma’s best.


Brenda Buenrostro


In May of 2016, I was unemployed and enrolled in the ResCare Workforce Services – TANF Program. Through this program I was informed of services offered by, Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona and ARIZONA @ Work – Youth Services Program (formerly known as YPIC). I attended orientation and enrolled in both programs. Arizona @ Work assigned me an Academic Youth Specialist and together we developed a plan for success.

The first goal was to obtain my GED. Continuing my education with Adult Literacy Plus was the crucial step towards advancing in my life. In class I was surrounded by positive people who motivated me to get things done. Realizing goals were obtainable I remained focused and consistent. By trusting my teachers and mentors I certified as a Child Care Provider, Microsoft Office Specialist, then finally received my High School Equivalency Diploma December 22, 2016! Now I am a student at Arizona Western College who is half way done with obtaining an Associates’ Degree in Business.

In order to enhance my employment opportunities, I continued participating with Arizona @ Work. They allowed me to receive a paid work experience as a Human Resources Assistant at the Crane School District. This opportunity provided me with skills required to get hired full time with Regional Center for Border Health/College of Health Careers, Inc. as an Administrative Assistant. After six months of hard work and self-development, I was then hired as a Youth Specialist for Arizona @ Work. Now I have the opportunity to help others the same way my youth specialists helped me. It is an honor to say that my mentors are now also my coworkers and colleagues. I am still employed as a Youth Specialist and I am blessed with the opportunity to encourage others every day.

These accomplishments are extremely rewarding to me because I am not only a student or employee but also a mother of four wonderful boys. Education has provided me with opportunities I never imagined. In 2017 I was selected from 1500 people to be a member of the Board of Commissioners - Housing Authority of the City of Yuma. On November 30, 2018 the Mesa Heights Apartments – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held. There a plaque with my name was posted that will forever be a part of the Mesa Heights Apartments in Yuma, AZ. It is fulfilling to know that my accomplishments continue to bear fruit.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is never too late to begin regardless of your life circumstances or previous mistakes. I am an example that “You set your own limits in life”.  At some point not obtaining my GED would have prevented my successes. Receiving my GED was certainly the biggest step in having stability and becoming a positive role model for my children, family, and community. It all started by enrolling at Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona and using the resources provided by our community. I encourage you all to believe in yourself and not take for granted what is there to help. Our wonderful community wants to see you do wonderful things. Thank you Adult Literacy Plus of Southwest Arizona.
~Brenda Buenrostro


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