Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

JJ's Legacy Honored as California Nonprofit of the Year

by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three

Vince Fong and Lori Malkin. Photo from JJ's Legacy
Local nonprofit, JJ’s Legacy, was selected as a 2021 California Nonprofit of the Year and recently honored by Assemblymember Vince Fong. JJ’s Legacy is one of one hundred nonprofits that will be honored by their state senators and assemblymembers for their tremendous contributions to the communities they serve.

“The pandemic and shelter-in-place orders of the past year and a half have put nonprofits –usually hidden in plain sight – in the spotlight,” says Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). “California Nonprofit of the Year is an opportunity for our elected officials to celebrate the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts, and for everyone to appreciate the collective impact of nonprofits in our communities.”

The mission of JJ’s Legacy is to honor Jeffrey Johns by educating Kern County residents on the value and importance of organ, eye and tissue donation, increasing the number of registered donors and providing compassionate support to donors and recipient families.

For more information, please visit

Taylor Dougherty. Photo from Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

Frontier High School Senior Taylor Dougherty recently accepted the 2021 Beautiful Bakersfield Youth Award with a heartwarming speech in front of 600-plus attendees at Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater and Convention Center. Taylor has had a speech impairment ever since she can remember, specifically a stutter. Although she was teased by her peers in junior high, she bravely delivered her class graduation speech to an audience of 4,000 people. Her lifelong speech disfluency struggle has made her a proud advocate for children and teens who stutter, encouraging them to use their voice for good and to feel heard. She also mentors children and teens who are new to speech therapy.

“Since I was little I’ve always had a stutter, so winning this award was truly a lessing,” Taylor says. “There is a quote I have always loved and looked up to which is a person who stutters has

the unique opportunity to teach the world tolisten.” Last year, Taylor gave more than 30 presentations called “Hear Me Out” to high school classes toeducate people on how to interact with someone who stutters and dispel stuttering misconceptions. She plans to extend her presentations to include junior high and elementary schools.

In 2019, Taylor spoke at the American Institute for Stuttering Gala in New York City where she met Emily Blunt and other national advocates and raised $300,000 for children who cannot afford speech therapy. She plans to attend college and major in Speech Sciences to become a Speech Pathologist to continue her passion of advocating for those who stutter. Sponsored by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS), this award category exemplifies an individual or group under the age of 17 years old, that through personal involvement and endeavors, has answered the challenge of good citizenship. For a complete list of all winners,

please visit

Disease Spreading in Local Animal Shelters

The City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center (CBACC) is seeing an alarming rate of distemper and pneumonia spreading across the shelter and across the community, receiving positive distemper tests almost daily. Vaccines can combat the spread of this highly contagious and deadly disease.

Critters Without Litters offers a low-cost vaccine clinic open Mon. through Thurs., 10a.m. to 2p.m. Vaccines are $18. The City of Bakersfield Animal Control holds monthly clinics. The next one will be held December 4 at Liberty Park at Brimhall Avenue and Jewetta Avenue. Vaccines cost $10.

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Tags: Health, Special Needs

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