Humans of Central: Allen Dozier


Photo illustration by Nathan Yuan & Noah Rozek

Central custodian Allen Dozier started his limousine service company called Just a Dream in 2006. He has driven for families, weddings, proms, graduations.

Nathan Yuan, Editor in Chief

Editor’s note: Allen Dozier’s story is part of a returning series based on the photoblog Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton. Our Humans of Central will feature interviews with people in our community. Stay tuned for more!

“I was an owner operator of a limousine service, [but] COVID made me lose my business. I went from making $100,000 a year to whatever I get here, but it’s okay. I was driving celebrities around, sports players. I actually had the Stanley Cup in my vehicles. [I had the] Blackhawks and the Cubs from 2010 to 2015. 

I picked up one of the White Sox players. [His] name is Frank Thomas. He’s a well-known guy. I picked him up by his home in Libertyville and brought him over to the Chicago Bulls game at the United Center. And I hung out with him there for a few hours and then he left because they were losing. And then he went into a nightclub downtown. He hung out downtown for a few hours and then before daybreak, we were back. [Frank] was very kind and he wasn’t pushy, and he’s a great tipper.

I started in 2005. It was a day-to-day thing, long hours. There were times when we traveled from Chicago to surrounding states. Sometimes we’re with the same people for not long, but sometimes up to three to five days. There are some exciting days and some days are basic, just random people around.

When I came into the business of limousine service, I was driving for another company. And then the same year that I was driving for him they said that since we’re gonna be independent contractors, which means we’re working for them, but in our own vehicle, so I then had to come up with my own company name. So I named my company Just a Dream. And right now today it is still Just a Dream. [I called it] Just a Dream [because] years before I started doing this, I worked for a guy. I would go pick up his vehicle and go back, drop it off at night when I’m done. And I was saying one day I’m gonna get my own car and I want to be going through this and then once I did do it, that’s when I named the company just because it was a dream that I wanted to have. I went through the state information and submitted the licensing. I continued on with that company for about five years. And then from there, I just broke off and started working on my own.

I still [drive] on the weekends or every morning before I come to work here. Anybody from mom and pops, proms, graduations, celebrities still. [I] wake up between three in the morning and five in the morning [to drive] before coming [to school]. I don’t have anything that can hold me back. I’d start at one o’clock in the morning if I have to go all the way through today. Take a nap here and there, give it all your hard work. 

I spoke with another student here. At one time I told him just because you have money right now, don’t mean you’re gonna have money forever. It can be taken away from you at any time. So don’t take it for granted. If you got a job, try to stay on that job. No matter what it is. You know, if you got to move to something better. That’s fine. But don’t just quit a job because you don’t like the people or you don’t like what’s going on.” 

“So, Allen, how would you describe yourself in one word?”

“Determined. I’m determined to make a life out of my things. And whatever I do, it’s gonna be big.”