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Ysleta Community Learning Students Published in Magazine

Five Ysleta Community Learning Center (YCLC) adult students are now published authors after having their short stories featured in The Change Agent, a national magazine for adult language learners published by World Ed.


YCLC adult students Gabriela Reyes, Jose F. Marquez, Berenice Guadalupe Aguirre, Martha Estela Perez-Williams, and Efren Macias Ojeda responded to a call for articles on Resilience and Success Skills.


  • Gabriela Reyes wrote “My Big Gift,” which describes her struggles after her son began showing delays in development in his early years. Finding healthcare for her son was difficult, but after much prayer and advocation, she found a special school for children with learning disabilities in Mexico City. She has learned strategies on how to best help her son, and it has been “a beautiful journey for me and my family,” she wrote.


  • Jose F. Marquez’s short story is called, “Humiliated on the Job: But I Stood Up for Myself,” and describes a time in his career when two supervisors gave him conflicting instructions to perform his job. He was embarrassed when one supervisor berated him in front of fellow co-workers – but it led to Marquez asking to speak to both supervisors in private and standing up for himself, leading both supervisors to apologize. He wrote, “My co-workers were happy to see that the managers changed to a better way to give orders, not just to me, but all the employees.”


  • Berenice Guadalupe Aguirre’s short story, “Weight Discrimination,” is about her journey in finding a job. She was offered a temporary job and excelled, leading to an offer of a permanent job three months later – but then she was sent for a physical exam, where the physician said she’d have to lose weight to keep the job. Aguirre disagreed, advocated for herself, and cited her superior work history as evidence of her abilities. “Always remember, your body size does not matter,” Aguirre wrote. “You can do whatever you put your mind to.”


  • Martha Estela Perez-Williams says education changed her life in her short story, “Breaking with Tradition.” She says studying gender in college gave her the strength to break from traditions where women didn’t have any rights. She earned a bachelor’s degree and is now working to obtain her master’s and doctorate degrees. As a professor in Mexico for 16 years, Perez-Williams has published books and papers about violence against women, and is now remarried and living in the United States. “I’ve been conscious that life is not a fairy tale, so my prince was not a man,” she wrote. “My ‘prince‘ was my education.”


  • Efren Macias Ojeda’s short story, “No Man is an Island,” speaks about difficulties in his marriage and career. After divorcing his wife, he was injured in a car accident and then he lost his job. Fortunately, his family helped him get back on his feet, and he came to realize that his “life’s purpose is to stay close to my family, make more friends, participate in activities with my neighbors and community and grow.”

The Change Agent is published 3 times a year.  Each issue focuses on a different topic relevant to the learners’ lives. The online magazine is designed for English as a Second Language (ESOL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Educational Development Test (GED), and adult diploma classes.


The Ysleta Community Learning Center provides classes to adults to help them gain the skills, knowledge, and certifications needed to increase employment opportunities. YCLC offers GED classes, English language, and for industry certifications such as Microsoft Office Specialist, Quickbooks, Bookkeeping and CDL-B with P and S endorsements. YCLC also serves those who hold degrees from other countries and need to learn or strengthen their English skills in order to enter their profession in the United States.


YCLC classes are free for Texas residents who meet certain qualifications. Registration is ongoing; for information, please call (915) 434-9400.