Merced College, Los Banos Campus, honored graduates last week in a ceremony celebrating overcoming obstacles to attain educational goals.
About one-third of the more than 100 students in the college’s graduating class attended Friday’s ceremony. Rosamaria Rucobo gave the student address.
“When I started my journey, I was a 30-year-old mother of two, full-time employee, and I commuted three hours a day to work. I dared to add full-time student to this list,” Rucobo said. “Each day I would run home, make dinner, help with homework and run off to class.”
Rucobo, who is transferring to complete a communications degree, said she was able to finish her coursework at Merced College, Los Banos Campus, in three years with the support of her husband and college staff. She said the desire to persevere is what she has in common with fellow graduates.
“We have all picked ourselves up, dusted off our shoulders and (shown up) to face another day,” Rucobo said.
Gil Castillo, who introduced Rucobo, said it has been a difficult semester for him partly because he’s been commuting from Merced. “Sometimes I questioned, why am I doing this? Then I see my professors and I feel proud,” said Castillo, a member of the Social Science Club. “Never give up on your dream. We are the future.”
The ceremony included scholarships for continuing and transferring students and recognition for the campus’ Students of the Month and classified staff.
Merced College President Ron Taylor told graduates although he oversees the main campus, he considers Los Banos’ student body to be his own.
“You’re all Blue Devils. You know what it took to get here. You’re going to carry this with you a long, long time,” he said.
Reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 826-3831 ext. 6563.