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October 22, 2020

Former student manages online logistics for Beyond Bounds fundraiser

When Cara Dickerson thinks of home, she thinks of Johnson County Community College.

She practically grew up at JCCC — attending youth camps, waiting in line for the pastry sale, and accompanying her mom, a longtime employee, to campus. But she never imagined how her career as a manager at a Chicago-based technology company might reconnect her with her Overland Park roots.

Dickerson oversees the 32-person customer success team for GiveSmart, a software provider that helps organizations raise money. GiveSmart clients receive consulting to get the most out of their fundraising. When Dickerson learned her company was working with JCCC on its art auction, Beyond Bounds 20/20: ENVISION, she knew she had to be GiveSmart’s point person for the College.

“I had so many great experiences at JCCC as a kid and student,” Dickerson said. “Now being able to support the College through my career — I love that it’s come full circle!”

Dickerson received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, but says JCCC’s College Now program and courses she took between semesters helped her complete her degree on time.

Years later, she is helping the College, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and JCCC Foundation prepare for this year’s auction. “An organization’s mission doesn’t stop because of COVID,” Dickerson says. “The Beyond Bounds team has put together a great way to fundraise during a climate that’s uncertain. Reaching people with the Beyond Bounds message of ‘Envision’ is more important than ever.”

Virtual bidding on pieces from more than 180 artists closes Saturday, Oct. 24. For questions about Beyond Bounds 20/20, email Judi Reilly, Development Program Director, at or call 913-469-2718.