PHARR – A group of PSJA Southwest Early College High School students recently published a book of essays titled "Voices from the Valley." The 200-page bound volume features 50 essays on friendship, family, education, love, sports, aspirations, conflicts, adventure, pets and cars.

Barry Glasser, English III AP/DC teacher at PSJA Southwest ECHS encouraged the students to write for this anthology and is very pleased with the results.

“The book is intended for school literacy programs and for pure reading pleasure,” said Glasser. “It’s a valuable educational resource because students will be reading essays written by their peers, reflecting the readers’ own experiences growing up in the Valley."

According to the teacher, "Voices from the Valley" is currently available for purchase at PSJA Southwest ECHS. In addition to providing the students the opportunity to be published authors, Glasser shared that educators in the school are already using the anthology for literacy lessons.

"To be given the opportunity to be published in an anthology is a blessing so few receive," said Junior Yasha Alaniz and author of the essay "Mine is Theatre." "I’m so grateful to have a class and school that gives students artistic freedom to express our perspectives and experiences as honestly as we choose, and to use our voices as authentic authors to help further discussions that can hopefully improve society."

Student authors in order of appearance include: Maria J. Ortiz, Esmeralda Meza, Daniella Medina, Sebastian Rivera, Nohe Resendiz, Fatima Rucoba, Francisco Rodriguez, Jr., Jonathan Quach, Sergio Archer, Francisco Lopez, Angel Martinez, Yasha Alaniz, Andre Ricardo Martinez Cortez, Andy Rendon, Isaiah Garcia, Samuel Zambrano, Moises Nevarez, Nayelie Salazar, Eric B. Lopez, Galilea Puente, Adolfo Rosales, Jezuel Ramos, Alejandro Tijerina, Brandon Salinas, Karla Lizbeth Reyes, Christian Valdes, Alejandro Rodriguez, Jeffry Martinez, Eli Garza, Kassandra Guerrero, Anonymous, Jesus Adrian Cuellar Sanchez, Antonio Roman, Ethan Greeno, Johan Alvarado, Jorge Gonzalez, Jorge Zenteno, Jorge Sanchez, Brandon Marquez, Rene Olivarez, Carlos Pelayo, Nicholas Nicanor, Brayan Acosta, Alain Gutierrez, Aldo Cardona, Adrian Reyna, Jacqueline Galicia, Emily Garcia, Joselyn Ramirez, and Jorge Villagomez.