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Local Student Accomplishments and more!

June's Fridge Door

by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three


High School Students Team Up With JJ’s Legacy’s Got The Dot Program

The Career Technical Education Center’s (CTEC) video production students, with their teacher Lisa Krch, teamed up with the local nonprofit, JJ’s Legacy for its Got the Dot leadership program whereby students educate Kern County residents on the value of organ, eye, and tissue donation and the significance of the pink dot on the driver’s license. Students were given the opportunity to create Public Service Announcements and compete for $500 in scholarship money for each winning team member.

The AM CTEC video production class first place winner was Jared Mayoral (above) for his PSA “Hope in Our Community,” and second place winner was Jacob Tran for “The Skater.” The PM CTEC video production class first place winner went to the team of Josiah Bunde, Samuel Perez, and Gracie Contreras, for their PSA, “Hero”. Second place was a tie between the video “JJ’s Legacy” by James Fulfer and Carlos Salazar, and “Heart to Heart Conversations,” filmed by Madison Bow, Alison Solis, and Svade Russell.

In response to COVID, JJ’s Legacy transformed the traditional Got the Dot High School Leadership Program into an academic year long club that could meet virtually. Throughout this year, the participating students from multiple high school and college campuses have continued to meet and work together. JJ’s Legacy honors the legacy of Jeffrey Johns by educating Kern County residents and inspiring them to become registered organ, eye, and tissue donors, and by providing compassionate support to donor and recipient families.

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Centennial High School Junior Wins Statewide National History Day California Virtual Competition

Centennial High School junior Alexander Fan will compete in the National History Day Virtual Competition this month after winning the statewide competition with his individual performance, “The Pentagon Papers, The Right of Communication on Trial."

Fan also recently received the first Seal of Civic Engagement in the state for his demonstrated excellence in civic learning, participation in civics-related projects, contributions to his community, and understanding of the American democratic system.

“The future of our democracy depends on a knowledgeable and actively engaged citizenry,” says State Board President Linda Darling-Hammond. “With this new seal, we hope to prepare all students with an empathetic concern for others, a deep understanding of democracy, and the civic engagement skills needed to contribute to the welfare of their local communities, the state, and the country.”

Aspiring to be a human rights lawyer, Fan has prided himself on bettering Kern County through a variety of organizations and activities. He has hosted Holocaust survival talks, campaigned for Proposition 15, and worked on substance abuse prevention enrichment programs for middle school students. Most recently, he worked to pass a board resolution to recognize Delores Huerta Day within the Bakersfield City School District.

For more information, please visit

Give Big Kern Fundraising Efforts Break Records

Kern County’s nonprofits broke a record with a 13 percent increase in the support they received this year during the annual Give Big Kern. With the community’s help and donations from all over the world, from Japan to Norway to South Africa, Kern’s countywide online day of giving totaled more than $830,000 and will benefit 129 participating nonprofits.

Hosted by Kern Community Foundation as part of its Nonprofit Strengthening Initiative, Give Big Kern’s goal is to increase visibility, capacity, and sustainability of local charities. Since its launch in 2016 on the first Tuesday in May, the effort has now raised more than $2.5 million and procured close to 390,000 pledged volunteer hours.

“Year after year, the results of Give Big Kern illustrate the giving spirit of our community, as well as the amazing efforts of our nonprofit partners,” says Foundation President and CEO Kristen Beall Watson. “It is truly inspiring to see the resilience of so many of these organizations that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Our hats are off to everyone who came together to celebrate this wonderful place we call home.”

Mark your calendars for next year’s Give Big Kern: May 3, 2022. For more information, please visit

Out Now! Mento Buru & Bakersfield College "Renegade Sounds" Music Project

Bakersfield Latin ska reggae group Mento Buru, in collaboration with the Bakersfield College Commercial Music program and Bakersfield College Foundation, is excited to announce the release of “Renegade Sounds,” a three-song EP featuring new recordings of the school’s iconic “Renegade Fight Song.”

Set to both swing ska and punk rock styles, the song’s original arrangement, written by then-BC music director Cal Mueller between 1951 and 1953, has never sounded quite like this.

“Renegade Sounds” can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, YouTube Music, Tidal, Tik Tok and more.

Groundbreaking for New High School

Kern High School District recently broke ground for its next comprehensive campus, Del Oro High School, located on the northeast corner of E. Panama Lane and Cottonwood Road. This high school will be the district’s 19th comprehensive school and is scheduled to open August 2022 welcoming an initial phase of freshman and sophomore students. Built on 58 acres, the school will include new state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces, a 3-court gymnasium, a 2,500-seat stadium, and a 600-seat performing arts center. The development and construction of the new school have been made possible in part through Measure K, a general obligation bond passed by Kern County voters in 2016. 

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