More than two decades ago, Maria Helen Toledo stepped foot in the GCC cafeteria as an hourly worker, later becoming a classified full-time employee of the college.
Back when Toledo first started working at Glendale College, the food items on the menu and the layout of the cafeteria were vastly different. She fondly remembers the fresh cinnamon rolls in the morning (the baker at that time was one of Toledo’s good friends, who recently passed away).
“The kids here – 99 percent of them – are so honest.” Toledo recalls various incidents with students that always showcased honesty on behalf of them. Once, a young man came in and explained he had lost his wallet but was hungry. Toledo offered to pay for his food but her co-workers at the time doubted the student would come back and pay her. He did, and she says this proudly.
When describing her time at GCC, Toledo puts it “It’s like family – everyone says it, but its true”.
It seems to be a small world – Toledo has run into students from the college while out and about in various Los Angeles haunts – she reminisced about a time where she spotted someone from the college at a restaurant at Universal Citywalk.
Having enjoyed working at GCC, Toledo says of her boss, Nancy Jordan, “She’s the best.” She had nothing but raves for the entire campus, of which she thought was the best one in the Valley (as compared to PCC or LACC).
Toledo plans to volunteer around, either at hospitals or by reading to children at local libraries. If she does travel, it will be to Winchester, VA where her daughter and grandchildren reside.