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CAT: Meet Marcia ("Miss Q")

CAT: Meet Marcia ("Miss Q")

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Marcia Quarles, or “Miss Q” as the children on the bus call her, is known for her positive energy. Her infectious laughter can brighten a mundane day. The way she sees it, every day is a gift from God: a chance to do it all over again and do it better. Needless to say, she rarely walks around without a smile on her face. When asked how many years she’s worked at Pupil Transportation, she replied, “I think 7 or 8 years. I really don’t keep up with that to tell you the truth.” Time tends to fly by when you’re loving life and sharing the love as Miss Q does. 

                Before working at Pupil Transportation, Marcia worked for a Walmart Distribution Center. One day in the warehouse, she was struck with a bad case of vertigo and went home to rest. Her daughter Keisha, who worked for Pupil Transportation, said, “Mom, Sherri (the Director) is fantastic to work for and you’re with the kids. That’s what you love! You are a people person and this would be a great opportunity for you.” Shortly thereafter, she applied and got the job. Ever since, she has loved working alongside her coworkers at Pupil Transportation and watching over the kids on the bus. 

As a Bus Aide, she monitors the children, talks to them about their day, lifts their spirits, and hands out snacks and candy as an incentive for good behavior. To make sure the kids stay on the right track, she makes a pact with them: if they do well in school and show good behavior, they’ll receive a snack allowance every other week. Of course, handing out goodies isn’t a requirement, but she likes to go above and beyond. While out shopping one day, she ran into a former student. The girl said, “Miss Q, I know what you’re doing. You’re hunting for snacks for the kids on the bus.” Miss Q responded, “Yeah, baby. I still do that.” The girl then told her coworkers that “Miss Q is such an inspiration to the kids, because she does what nobody else can do.” Remarking further on the story, Marcia added “sometimes I can’t do, but I make a way out of no way.” To her, “it makes all the difference that you gave it your all and see the children after they graduate.”   

                Marcia says, “We’re not here to be mean and ugly, because everybody is going through something and sometimes all it takes is a smile, and you don’t know what that might do to somebody else’s day.” This is her life mantra and the reason why she is so passionate about her work. Each of her kids comes from a different walk of life. Some face various hardships at home and others have a happy, stress-free home life. From the different ethnicities, religions, cultures, and upbringings, the diverse group of kids have taught her to show empathy at all times. When one is going through a difficult time, she caters to that child. Whether that is with an extra hug or smile, it makes a huge difference on their day.  

Because of her love for the children, it is hard for her to be absent from work. When she had to move her grandchildren into her home and become their caretaker, she left work for almost eight months. Before leaving, she cried and expressed her sadness saying how much she would miss the children on the bus. So, Marcia “got her grandkids situated and came back to her babies here.” As she puts it, “God takes care of you when you take care of his other people.” Moreover, the children take care of her and help keep her young. 

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