Joliet Job Corps Center

Maque McMullen: Job Corps Volunteer

June 30th, 2016

Maque McMullen knows her way around a kitchen.

Like many people, the Joliet Job Corps Center student likes to cook. She makes a mean pot roast, and spaghetti is a specialty. She also likes the other parts of the process – the prep work and cleaning up. And she’s done plenty of that lately. For the past few months, Maque has been volunteering to work in the Center’s cafeteria. She’s become a valuable resource for Food Services Manager Janice Crayton.

“Maque has been an enormous help in the cafeteria,” Ms. Crayton said. It all began earlier this year. “Maque came to me on April 14 and asked if she could help serve for dinner. After going over the rules and regulations, she said, ‘Yes, madame, I want to serve,’” Ms. Crayton said.

She went to work on the serving line, and then returned the following week. Although some students volunteer to work in the cafeteria because they like to stay near the food, Maque was different. She truly enjoyed the chores. “I like cutting vegetables, setting up the salad bar,” Maque said. “I feel like I help everyone else be healthy.”

When she completed the Center’s Office Assistant program in late April, Maque wanted more to do. So she asked Ms. Crayton if she could help during lunchtime too. At first, Ms. Crayton wasn’t sure that Maque would really want to stay in the kitchen for hours at a time. In the end, she was very pleasantly surprised.

“Low and behold, she is still working out!” Ms. Crayton said.

Maque is waiting to go to Advanced Training at the Gary Job Corps Center in San Marcos, Texas. She will enter the Advanced Residential Advisor program, and hopes to leave next month.

“I love helping young people go in the right direction,” she said.

Now that Maque has spent so much time in the cafeteria, she’s earned a special nickname.

“Three cheers to ‘Lady Bug!’” Ms. Crayton said.