Allison holding degree

Small Steps to Big Rewards

Like many moms who spend countless years focused on raising their kids, getting them to and from practice and school, taking care of their every last need, Alison Dolbeer daydreamed about what her life would look like when she was ready to return to the workforce. Her pathway started with a scholarship and landed her a rewarding job faster than she could have ever imagined.

Alison, 44, of Midlothian, was a real estate appraiser for several years before her children Raymond and Katie became her primary focus. She ultimately spent 12 years running a childcare business out of her house before she discovered she could start taking classes a few at a time through South Suburban College’s Business Program.

Alison took her first Math 95 class at the college’s nearby Oak Forest Center in 2015. It was a small evening class, a peaceful relief from the days and years of adolescent noise, she says.

“I absolutely loved going to this class over there. It was quiet, convenient, the people were nice and it gave me the ability to get going on the next chapter of my life one small step at a time.”

As she continued her academics and narrowed her focus to Accounting, Alison learned of an accounting scholarship offered through the SSC Foundation. She applied in 2017 and was awarded the John Kasperek Co., Inc. Scholarship to help pay for her classes.

“Applying for a scholarship was one of the best things I ever did,” said Alison. “Who would have thought I could have received a scholarship, and even better yet, that it would lead to a job?”

Alison met Mr. Kasperek and some of his staff when she received the scholarship, and soon after was encouraged to apply for an Accounting Assistant position that opened up at the firm. She did and, well, as they say, the rest is history…

“I absolutely love it and love the people I work with,” said Alison.

Alison has worked full time for John Kasperek Co., Inc. for a year now and recently received her Bookkeeping Certificate from SSC. She says she’ll “finally graduate!” with her Associate Degree in Accounting during the next academic year. She plans to continue on for a Bachelor’s Degree at Governors State University in the future with plans of one day becoming a CPA.

Alison will be graduating from community college soon; Alison’s kids will be graduating high school soon. She never dreamed she would have a meaningful career before those days came.