Yolanda “Pretty” Marble hugs a student at Muskegon Community College’s Grab-n-Go

When you walk by the Grab-n-Go at Muskegon Community College, there will probably be a group of students hanging around. Not because they have the best pizza in the town, but because of the woman who runs the café.

Over the last three years, Yolanda “Pretty” Marble has cultivated community for many of MCC’s students. She greets everyone with a bright smile and kind words of encouragement during their visit. She is a positive influence on students, as many share information about their personal lives with her.

Marble’s actions caught the attention of the Associate Dean Cyndi Langlois. Langlois nominated her for an Essential Service Award, and won.

The Essential Service Awards are a community-sourced award that honors individuals who go above and beyond in a service industry job like: day care provider, cleaner, home health aide or food service worker.

“Staff at MCC comment that she is an extension of our counseling office. Students flock to her for support, advice and kindness,” Langlois said in Marble’s nomination.

Marble keeps a stash of money with her so she can pay for food if a student can’t afford it. She encourages giving and people to pay it forward. Marble paused her own degree-seeking journey so she can continue to serve the students and staff during her job.

“There is a much stronger sense of community and taking care of others in the MCC family because of her,” Langlois said.

Nominations open

The Essential Service Awards shine a light on the men and women who are dedicated to their vital, yet under-appreciated service industry job like Pretty Marble. Individuals who win the award make a difference in the lives they touch every day.

Community members can nominate those service workers who make their days a little better and brighter now through January 1.