January 2023

Latest News

  • Scholarships
  • Upper Kern Fisheries Grant Opportunity
  • Give Big Kern 2023
  • Kern Connected Community Network
  • Bakersfield Youth Jobs Program
  • Holiday Fun
  • Congratulations Aaron!

Did You Know?

  • The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity
  • Scholarship Workshop

Nonprofit Spotlight

  • Aspiranet

Community Calendar

  • Upcoming Events

A message to the community from our

President and CEO

Happy 2023! My first year at the Foundation has been amazing, and I would like to thank our nonprofit partners, donors, engaged community members, scholarship winners, staff, and Board of Directors for making 2022 a resounding success. On a personal note, I earned my MBA from CSUB in December—I am excited to apply the world-class knowledge to our work at the Foundation. 

We have a lot of great information in this month’s newsletter. We are full steam ahead on scholarships, Give Big Kern, and the Bakersfield Youth Jobs Program. To start 2023, we are growing our partnership with the City of Bakersfield to place interns at our local nonprofits—more details in the newsletter. We wish you all the best!                    

                 Aaron Falk



Scholarship applications are now available!




The Spring 2023 cycle of the Upper Kern Fisheries grant is now open. The Upper Kern Fisheries Enhancement Fund was established as part of an agreement for fisheries mitigation during the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) re-licensing of the Kern River Number 3 Hydroelectric Plant (KR3), which is located on the Upper Kern River near Kernville. It was established with an initial contribution of $2.5 million by Southern California Edison (SCE), and has grown to nearly $3.5 million while distributing close to $1.7 million in grants benefiting the Upper Kern River Basin. Learn More

Application Due:

Monday, February 20, 2023

GIVE BIG KERN is May 2, 2023!

Following another successful Day of Giving in 2022 ($885,235 raised!), Give Big Kern is gearing up for another opportunity to harness the giving spirit of Kern County to the benefit of our hard-working nonprofits on May 2. The Give Big Kern 2023 website is now live. Registration opens on January 10 and closes on February 28, 2023. Stay Tuned for more! (

For more information and stats on Give Big Kern 2022 (Click Here).


To participate in Give Big Kern 2023, agencies must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Nonprofit serving Kern County;
  2. Be registered with Kern Community Foundation, for info (Click Here)
  3. Have achieved a Silver 2021 or higher rating on;
  4. Attend BOTH Mandatory GiveGab Webinars

SAVE THE DATES: Mandatory Webinars

Getting Ready Webinar:

January 17, 2023 at 9:30AM

TO REGISTER: (Click Here)

Final Steps Webinar:

March 27, 2023 at 9:30AM

TO REGISTER: (Click Here)

Kern Connected Community Network

We currently have 125 active organizations on the Kern Connected Community Network. These organizations range from behavioral health clinics, school districts and community based organizations. A lot of these organizations are based in Bakersfield and the KCCN team is working hard to get services for those who live in rural areas of Kern County such as Lost Hills and Lake Isabella.

Since its launch in December 2019, KCCN has served 2,521 individuals by connecting them to services. The top needs we've been able to identify are individual and family support, food assistance, and housing/shelter.

For more information on KCCN (Click Here). If you would like to get connected to community resources (Click Here).

Bakersfield Youth Jobs Program City Hall Fellowship

In December, the Bakersfield Youth Jobs Program (BYJP) City Hall Fellowship cohort had a professional development workshop. Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Director Rick Anthony, led a workshop focused on the City of Bakersfield’s Master Plan and other park-related topics. The fellows celebrated the winter holiday with brunch and a white elephant gift exchange.

BYJP released the Nonprofit Internship application and the Nonprofit Referral Form and is continuing to meet with nonprofits. The Nonprofit Internship Program is a 15-week, paid internship where youth will work part-time with local nonprofits. The referral form allows nonprofits to recommend candidates for the program, and applicants will receive interview dates so BYJP can begin worksite placements. 

Applications for the college-level City Hall Fellowship program are now open. The City Hall Fellowship is a 6-month, paid fellowship where youth work part-time with city departments on important projects and initiatives. The deadline for the Fellowship is on January 6, 2023.

For more information on BYJP (Click Here).

Featured Fellow

"Having graduated from college earlier this year, BYJP offered me an excellent opportunity to explore a field that I was interested in, while providing professional support that many don't have this early in their career... I was able to comfortably navigate the department I was assigned to and ultimately become an official employee of the City of Bakersfield. Overall, BYJP has allowed me to take a strong, first step toward a successful and fulfilling career in city government."

-Ethan Estrada

Ethan Estrada graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a double major in Environmental Studies and Geography: GIS. After graduation, he returned to his hometown and was interested in positively impacting the community he knew so well. His interest in pursuing a career in city or state government led him to the City Hall Fellowship program and after several months in the program, Ethan has been offered a full-time position with the Development Services department. 

City Hall Fellowship Application
Nonprofit Internship Application
Nonprofit Referral Form

Holiday Fun

Tis the season to celebrate! Kern Community Foundation recently had its holiday party. We celebrated with a Secret Santa gift exchange, a gingerbread house competition, and delicious food!  Kern Community Foundation's Fun Committee also hosted a gingerbread competition. The staff teamed up in pairs and created the following masterpieces: White Christmas, Gingerbread Express and Christmas Vacation. Each house had a different theme showcasing the staff's personality.

Which gingerbread house is your favorite?
White Christmas
Gingerbread Express
Christmas Vacation

Congratulations Aaron!

December was a big month for Kern Community Foundation's President & CEO, Aaron Falk. He recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with his MBA from Cal State Bakersfield. You can learn more about Aaron and his Roadrunner story (Click Here).

Aaron was also the guest speaker on Our Two Cents Podcasts. Tune in and hear about the Foundation's latest news (Click Here).

Interested in what Aaron is looking forward to in 2023 on Bakersfield Life

(Click Here).


The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity (The Center) recruiting new board members

The Center is actively recruiting new board members. We are committed to having a diverse board representing the entire LGBTQIA2S+ community in Kern County! The Center recognizes the sacrifice and honors the time board members put into helping The Center grow and fulfill its mission while maintaining a critical eye to supporting its values. The Board will support the work of The Center and provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance.

The Center is a small non-profit that was an all-volunteer organization until 2016, when we employed our first two employees. The Center's staff and services have grown in the past few years and require board members who are up for the challenge of providing and supporting the growth, diversity, equality, and inclusion of all the members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. We are recruiting new board members for 2023! Come volunteer with us and shape the future of the Center. Check out our website for more information on joining and the online application. 

For more information and application (Click Here).

Scholarship Presentations

Kern Community Foundation staff, Angie and Teems, hosted the first scholarship workshop of the season. Angie and Teems, assisted high school seniors applying for the Kern Futures scholarship application. Thank you to Raj Cheshire, from Grimm Family Education Foundation, for organizing and inviting KCF staff to set Arvin High School students for success.

If you are interested in a workshop or would like to know more about the scholarship process, please reach out to [email protected].



Aspiranet is a 501 (c) (3) California nonprofit organization with the mission of providing children, youth, and families with a foundation of support so they can thrive at home, at school, and in their communities. In 2022, Aspiranet participated in Give Big Kern and received a sponsorship prize of $300.

Aspiranet provides a spectrum of services in Northern California, Southern California, and in the Central Valley, including foster and adoption services, behavioral and mental health services, residential care, educational services, community-based family services, and emergency shelter.

Aspiranet envisions a world in which all children and youth are loved and cared for and all families have the resources to thrive. To provide children, youth and families with a foundation of support and services so they can succeed at home, school and in their communities. Aspiranet's behavioral and social services groups work collaboratively so children thrive, families are empowered, and communities are strengthened. To learn more about Aspiranet, (Click Here).


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