By Ivan Cazares
A group of Elans shared their fears and aspirations through short stories and poetry to celebrate the newest issue of Milestone in the S2 Recital Hall on April 16.
Milestone is a literary magazine that has been published at East Los Angeles College for the past 70 years.
“That’s over 60 years of giving students an outlet,” English professor Dustin Lehren said. Lehren served as an adviser in this year’s issue.
This was the first year that the selection process was handed over to a committee of students. Students from English 32 promoted the magazine and encouraged others to submit their work.
“Allowing students to submit work online and the use of social media to promote Milestone paid off,” Lehren said.
English 32 students also took on tasks such as copy editing. However, the layout was handed over to the school’s graphic artist.
Milestone publishes art, photography, poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction.
“The fear of failure stood out in this year’s issue,” Lehren said.
“Milestone gave me the tools and opportunity to express myself,” Matthew Mejia said.
Mejia, who recently transferred to Cal State Los Angeles, had some of his work published in a collection of poems titled “Reflections and Illuminations.”
The book features poems written by more than 50 poets from four different countries.
Mejia said that he has always had a hard time speaking in front of others, and that he remembers the day that he first was able to overcome his fear.
“On November 26, 2013, I was giving a presentation for Milestone and it was the first time I heard myself yelling,” Mejia said.
“Although it might sound cliche, dreams really do come true. They might not all come true, but some do,” President of the Speech Club Israel Beltran said.
He also said that one must put in the effort to make his or her dreams come true.
“Milestone is an outlet for those who want to be taken seriously. We want to start a deeper conversation,” Lehren said.
The group that presented answered questions from the audience.
Students and members of the East Los Angeles community can submit work at https://milestone.submittable.com.
The deadline for submitting work for next issue has been extended to April 23.