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Lanesha Dixon

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

South Side residents like Lanesha Dixon help keep UChicago running. After a temp job ended and left Dixon out of work, she attended a job fair sponsored by the Goodwill Workforce Connection Center — one of the University’s trusted community workforce partners that match qualified workers with jobs on campus — and connected with Allied Universal Security Services, the UChicago security vendor.

Within days, she was hired as a full-time security officer to help patrol the neighborhoods around campus, working from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. “In our orientation, a supervisor told us that this is an opportunity to move up if you want to,” Dixon says. “I decided, ‘I’m going to do this job well.’”

In fact, Dixon did the job so well that her Allied supervisor alerted her before the University officially posted a position for a community service officer at the UChicago Lab Schools. “I felt like I succeeded at something when God opened that door for me,” she says. “Allied was my stepping stone, my first family.”

“I love the kids at the school, and I love the people I’m around. I thank my Allied family for pushing me — if they hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be here.” lanesha lab school crossing guard security

She was hired in March 2019, loves her job, and is especially happy that her schedule now enables her to take her kids, ages 9 and 7, to school each day, have dinner with them every night, and help with homework. She also appreciates her University benefits, like the one that covers more than half the cost of her son’s and daughter’s attendance at the schools’ Summer Lab day camp. “This is a career, not just a job,” Dixon says, “and I don’t want to trade it in for the world.”

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