Merced College employee Margaret Pulido is also a three-time  graduate

Submitted by Merced College staff

More than 1,000 students were eligible to cross the stage at Merced College’s graduation ceremony on May 20.

Some of those graduates are already part of the Merced College family, like Margaret Pulido, area administrative coordinator at the Los Banos Campus.

She began taking courses in Los Banos in 2005. 

Pulido had moved to Los Banos in late 2000, but was still commuting to Fremont for work and spending hours on the road each day. Her daughter was born in 2001, and Pulido wasn’t so interested in school just then.

But once her daughter started preschool, Pulido wanted and needed a job. She wanted to work at a school but wasn’t sure she would pass any required math tests a decade removed from high school.

“Then I was like, ‘You know what? I want to do more,’” she said about her decision to enroll at Merced College Los Banos Campus. “I took one class and enjoyed it. I kept taking them.”

Thirteen years after walking in the Los Banos door, Pulido earned an associate of arts degree in social and behavioral sciences in 2018. That same her two sons graduated with her. One of her boys had taken the same physical education course she enrolled in.

Three years later, she completed the fast-track AA in administration of office

management. This year, Pulido became an overachiever by nailing

another AA in administrative office professional while earning additional certificates in administration office management and business information worker.

Pulido credits everyone on the Los Banos campus for her success, including the enthusiastic student services worker who greeted her on her first day. It was Student Support Coordinator Jackie Solis, who noticed Pulido’s drive and asked her if she’d like a work-study job

Brenda Latham, the first dean Pulido worked for, boosted her confidence by frequently telling Pulido how capable she was.

Before enrolling at Merced College, Pulido says she spent her life just surviving, trying to finish high school through a continuation school and taking jobs to support her family. 

Pulido, who is now married, no longer relies solely on her survival instincts to make it through the day. She works hard. She goes home fulfilled. She wakes up the next morning raring to go.

“Everyone thinks about success differently,” Pulido said. “I think of it as having little successes every day, becoming better people and being better to people.”

College for Kids returns to Los Banos this summer

The popular College for Kids program is back in Los Banos.

Since 1976, Merced College has offered the program during the summer as part of the college’s commitment to education and enrichment for the youth of our community.

This summer, Merced College and the Los Banos Parks and Recreation Department are again partnering up to offer summer activities for the youth in Los Banos at the community center.

College for Kids will run from July 11 to Aug. 2, with activities ranging from baking to basketball and much more.

Los Banos Parks and Recreation Manager Joe Heim, who is one of many helping to coordinate the program, said there has been a high level of interest from the community.

“We are excited to be hosting College for Kids in Los Banos again,” Heim said.

Parents can find a list of classes in the June 2022 Los Banos Parks and Recreation activities newsletter. Registration opens June 1, and there are two ways to register:  online through the Merced College Business and Community Education webpage at or by calling (209) 384-6224 Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Second session of summer classes begins June 20

The first summer session at Merced College began May 23, with four-week classes that end June 16. Additional six- and seven-week sessions begin June 20.

To learn more or to register for classes, visit the Los Banos Campus Welcome Center in Building A, Room 119, or call 209-381-6429.

Merced College Staff

For information about Merced College, contact James Leonard at or 209-381-6559.