Kern County high-school students develop leadership, career, and life skills putting “service over self” into practice
Valentine’s Day will be a little sweeter for some Bakersfield senior citizens this year – thanks to the selflessness of a group of Kern County high school juniors and young kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County (BGCKC).
The juniors are part of Jim Burke Education Foundation’s Ford Dimension and Dream Builders program. Every year the foundation selects 32 students and puts them into four teams, to gain leadership, career and life skills as they create and implement significant service projects that meet a community need.
Team Aera chose to host a Valentine’s Day event at the BGCKC providing fun activities for the kids while brightening Valentine’s Day for several local senior citizens.
Aera Engineering Technology Manager David Heisler came back to the Dream Builder program as Team Aera’s mentor, giving back to the program he took part in as a senior at Foothill High School in Bakersfield.
“It’s rewarding to see the students collaborate with each other, work through problems, and make decisions,” Heisler said. “I hope the students recognize the importance of collaboration and continue to develop their own leadership styles. I have no doubt that they will all do amazing things with their lives.”
When Heisler’s participated in the program, his team developed and implemented an after-school program at Voorhies Elementary School. He is now using that experience to help students facilitate meetings and balance life demands as an Aera employee mentor and company liaison for the program.