DOWNTOWN 2001 Oak Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301  (661) 328-3600

AUTOMALL 5300 Gasoline Alley Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93313  (661) 837-6400

In The Community: Helping improve quality of life

Our corporate and employee involvement have a long history in Kern County. As a focus, we try to work on long-term approaches to support health care and education. These are areas requiring a great deal of commitment of our time and resources... with our goal to help improve the quality of life in our community.


    In December of 1994, over 200 Ford Dimension Alumni from across the country gathered to honor Jim Burke and thank him for the contributions he made to better the educational experiences of young people through the Ford Dimension program. As a tribute to him, they announced the founding of the Jim Burke Education Foundation. The Foundation’s purpose is to continue the spirit of Jim Burke’s generosity by contributing to the educational support of others.


    Through our annual Ghost Party fund raiser the Foundation is able to distributes each year over $12,000 to teachers, students and community organizations in the form of scholarships, mini grants and awards. Learn more about the Jim Burke Education by clicking the newsletter to the right.

    Jim Burke Education Foundation

    Introducing the 2016-2017
    class of Ford Dimension and Dream Builder student leaders.

    These 32 achieving high school juniors will be part of our youth leadership programs during their senior year. Together they will continue the legacy of Jim Burke’s generosity and civic spirit by developing and implementing four significant community service projects. Welcome to our Ford Family!

    John Abrams, Garces

    Sophia Caputo, BHS

    Jackson Carroll, Liberty

    Gabriela Chumpitaz, Frontier

    Ryan Crowley, BHS

    Ishani Desai, Centennial

    Spencer Glazer, Independence

    Luisa Guzman-Gomez, East

    Carlos Hernandez, Golden Valley

    Samantha Jimenez, Mira Monte

    Raja Kumar, Ridgeview

    Raguvir Kunani, Stockdale

    Artemis Mansur, Liberty

    Grace Martinez, West

    Clayton Nalesnik, Stockdale

    Sean Nguyen, Frontier

    Zach Parham, Frontier

    Caleb Pollema, BCHS

    Karen Quezada, East

    Carlos Ramirez, South

    Laura Randolph, Highland

    Krystal Raynes, Independence

    Emma Reynolds, Liberty

    Kathryn Rodriguez, Centennial

    Kyra Sales, Garces

    Edgar Sanchez Jr., North

    Shikha Srinivas, Stockdale

    Tyler Sweaney, BCHS

    Tommy Toretta, Garces

    Daniel Tweedy, Highland

    Andrea Uribe, Ridgeview

    Victoria Von Flue, BHS


    Jim Burke - The Ford Dimension

    The program began in 1975 with a pilot group of 4 seniors from West High School. It was originally designed to be a “youth connection” panel for the dealership that provided off-campus orientation and education about the free enterprise system and the business community. It has evolved since then into a 10 member board that continues to foster business-youth communication but with an
    emphasis on volunteerism, career development, and business ethics.


    Representatives from both Ford Dimension and Dream Builders attend monthly meetings together with a focus on leadership development, character, communication and career building skills. Since there is a business component to the Ford Dimension program, the representatives are provided the opportunity to “shadow” individuals involved in careers they would like to pursue. Luncheon meetings are also scheduled with elected government officials, corporate Ford executives, and Rotary members. Additionally, the students have the opportunity to serve as youth mentors and participate in unique activities with Special Olympics.


    We now have over 490 Ford Dimension Alumni whose careers range from Catholic priest, Director of the New York Stock Exchange, International VP of Coors, Commander of the Kingfisher (nuclear minesweeper), pro football and baseball players to authors, actors, musicians, doctors, lawyers and terrific moms and dads. In 1995 the Ford Dimension Alumni honored Jim Burke with the establishment of an Education Foundation in his name. Each spring The Jim Burke Education Foundation distributes over $18,000 to teachers, students and community organizations in the form of scholarships, mini grants and awards. It also oversees and directs Dream Builders, a student leadership program.



    42nd Class of

    The Ford Dimension

    Left to Right:

    Bottom Row
    Sophia Caputo BHS

    Raguvir Kunani Stockdale

    Kyra Sales Garces

    Shikha Srinivas Stockdale

    Middle Row

    Caleb Pollema BCHS

    Ryan Crowley BHS

    Samantha Jimenez Mira Monte

    Zach Parham Frontier

    Top Row

    Artemis Mansur Liberty

    Tyler Sweaney BCHS


    In 2003, Ford Dimension Alumni along with the Jim Burke Education Foundation created a new leadership program, Dream Builders, for achieving high school seniors with a focus on civic responsibility, life skills, and leadership development.


    Its purpose is to share the value of civic responsibility as a lifetime commitment with students who have demonstrated a desire to make a difference in their community. Approximately 22 students are teamed with corporate sponsors and charged with developing a community service project. Additionally, the students will have the opportunity to serve as youth mentors as well as participate in unique activities with Habitat for Humanity, Bakersfield Homeless Shelter, and Special Olympics.  Ford Dimension and Dream Builder representatives also attend monthly meetings together that focus on leadership development, character, communication and career building skills.


    Corporate team sponsors have included Aera Energy, American General Media, Castle & Cooke, Wells Fargo Bank, Bright House Networks, Rabobank, Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield and Kern Schools Credit Union. With their help these exceptional students have proven that given the opportunity and support they can create big dreams, and achieve them as well.


    Dream Builders Class of 2016-2017

    From Left to Right:  Spencer Glazer Independence, Gabriela Chumpitaz Frontier, John Abrams Garces,
    Laura Randolph
    Highland, Carlos Hernandez Golden Valley, Victoria Von Flue BHS, Daniel Tweedy Highland,
    Jackson Carroll Liberty, Karen Quezada East, Andrea Uribe Ridgeview, Sean Nguyen Frontier, Grace Martinez West, Tommy Toretta Garces, Kathryn Rodriguez Centennial, Carlos Ramirez South, Luisa Guzman-Gomez East,
    Emma Reynolds Liberty, Clayton Nalesnik Stockdale, Raja Kumar Ridgeview, Ishani Desai Centennial,
    Krystal Raynes
    Independence, Edgar Sanchez North



    Past Dream Builder Community Projects


    Team Projects 2004

    Boys & Girls Club Kid’s Fair: Health, education, community support groups represented

    Esteem Team: Program for elementary school children focusing on self-esteem

    Bakersfield Homeless Shelter: “Spring Fling” dinner, dancing, carnival for the clients

    Sweets for seniors: Connecting young hearts with the forgotten elderly through valentines


    Team Projects 2005

    Dreams Still Come True: 1940’s USO musical variety show for the “greatest generation”

    Boys & Girls Club: Trash can painting contest turned into an environmental art mural

    Jamison Center: “Extreme Makeover, Garden Edition” provided a new play courtyard

    Get Up, Get Out, Get Movin, Get Fit: Elementary school program on obesity & fitness

    Madera Children’s Hospital: “Kids Reaching Kids” gave get well cards/signs to sick kids


    Team Projects 2006

    Bright Futures Recycling: Educating elementary students about recycling & B.A.R.C.

    Senior Fit Club-Fall Proof Project: Students designed & taught a senior fitness class

    Family Free Day: A day at the Bakersfield Museum of Art dedicated to families and art

    S.O.S.–Support Our Soldiers: Over 3,000 student cards were sent to soldiers overseas.


    Team Projects 2007

    F.R.I.E.N.D.S: Vignettes for students with autism

    Anti-G’s: Anti Gang and Graffiti awareness and art

    One Team, One Dream: Every Fifteen Minutes Drinking & Driving Project

    Operation Home Front: Students provided videos & support for troops and families


    Team Projects 2008

    Fit & Fun 4 Everyone: An after school program to combat obesity and improve health

    Dear Hero: A school assembly highlighting Veterans and their junior high pen-pals

    Coloring Our Community: Children at the homeless shelter cut, color and paint with artists

    H.E.R.O.E.S.: An interactive puppet show teaches children to stand up to bullies


    Team Projects 2009

    Share Your Sole: Homeless shelter children received new shoes, mentoring and self esteem lessons

    Music For the Ages: A series of musical performances for the elderly at retirement homes

    P.L.A.Y.: A new outdoor play area for children with autism at the Lori Brock Learning Center

    S.T.A.M.P.: Creating music from recycled for a school performance with a jungle theme


    Team Projects 2010

    Healthy Choice Informants: Children learned about healthy living and exercise by building a garden

    Art for Special Kids: Deaf students learned to express themselves through art and music

    Junior Einstein Mad Scientists: Hands on science projects helped spark interests in science careers.

    McDream Builders: Raised awareness for the Ronald McDonald House throughout local hospitals.


    Team Projects 2011

    Gleaners Outreach Operatives: Students express gratitude for snacks donated by Gleaners

    Becoming Active Mentors: Workshops encourage Garden Pathways students to follow their passions

    Heart Beat Elite: “Healthy Super-Heroes” taught kids to be healthy with exercise and nutritional games

    Students with Awesome Goals: Taught kids about science and healthy eating by building a garden


    Team Projects 2012

    H.O.P. (Helping Others Play): Refurbished the playground at the Lori Brock Children’s Center

    Get Fit: Created a cookbook and cooking lessons with the Mercy Learning Center Students

    Pedalpalooza: Raised bike awareness through a community bike parade with Bike Bakersfield

    A Community Act: Exposed Garden Pathways students to the fine arts with professional workshops


    Team Projects 2013

    Running for Ronald: Educated and inspired children to support the Ronald McDonald House

    heART Therapy: Provided art workshop for Autistic students then displayed their finished artwork

    Fuel the Future: Motivated children to stay in school to achieve their future dreams with presentations

    Got the Dot?: Film festival where participants described the importance of organ and tissue donation


    Team Projects 2014-2015

    Water Warriors: Created a video, “Do the Water”, to educate on water conservation

    Hearts for Home: A special Valentine’s Day event at Champ Camp for the homeless

    Undercover Agents: Collected and donated thousands of needed undergarments

    Smiles Across the Generations: Valentine’s Day social for the elderly at Glenwood Gardens


    Team Projects 2015-2016

    The Need to Read: Literacy awareness via personal book publishing and story-telling

    Kind Is the New Cool: Created a “Kindness Curriculum” to be used throughout Kern County

    Block ON!: Skin Cancer Awareness and free preventative Health Screening initiative

    You’re Worth More: Awareness and tools to help end cyber-bullying in Kern County


    Making a Difference! Opportunities to serve our community


    Our new student leaders spent a little free time this summer finding ways to serve the Bakersfield community and in the process discovered that the months of June and July can be filled with life changing experiences.


    Throughout the city there is an abundance of organizations focused on helping those in need and most of them always welcome the assistance of additional volunteers. Once they began looking, our students were amazed at how many opportunities exist to serve others.


    They enjoyed serving dinner to the needy at St. Frances Church, making root beer floats for the homeless at the St. Vincent DePaul Center, dishing out supper for clients at the Bakersfield Homeless Center, and mentoring young children at the Police Activities League. Our students were inspired and motivated by their summer experiences and look forward to continuing to serve the community in various ways.

    Bakersfield Homeless Shelter

    Beale Library

    Bakersfield Art Museum

    Bakersfield Police Activity League - PAL

    Boy’s & Girls Club

    Ronald McDonald House

    M.A.R.E. (On line Application)

    C.A.L.M. (On line Application)

    Golden Empire Gleaners

    Honor Flight Kern County: (On line Application)

    St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter

    Jerri Alvarado

    Georgia Wages

    Mark Engelien

    Kyle Ursery

    Ana Matinez

    Scarlet Sabin

    Deborah Durkan

    Lana Fain

    Pam Fiorini

    Lili Marsh

    Michael Mack













    Jim Burke Ford Lincoln is a proud participant in the Community Reading Project, a joint project of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, The Bakersfield Californian and The United Way of Kern County.  The reading program is a community effort to improve the reading skills of the children in Kern County.  Jim Burke Ford Lincoln is happy to have been involved since the inception of the program.


    We have a team of employees who volunteer to assist second-grade students with reading difficulties at Franklin Elementary School.  These volunteers are known as “reading coaches” and commit one hour, one day a week during the school year.


    During each visit, four students are coached individually for 15 minutes each.  A different volunteer is in the classroom every day, assuring daily guided practice for the selected students.  Results are measured at the end of each semester for each student.  A one-hour commitment can improve those results dramatically.


    Employees who have participated in this program in the past have commented on what a rewarding program this is, not only for the students, but also for the employee.


    We are proud of our employees volunteering their time for this very worthwhile community project.

    Jim Burke Community Reading Project, Kern County

    Jim Burke Ford Lincoln employees nominate and vote on a charity of their choice as a way of giving back to our community.  The 2016 employee charity is Honor Flight Kern County.  We have a variety of fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for the charity such as denim day, preferred parking, burrito and bake sales, furniture and equipment sales, BBQ’s and of course we encourage payroll deductions.  Our goal is to raise over $10,000 for the selected charity.  Our employees also volunteer their time to the charity for specific events, which is priceless!


    Honor Flight Kern County (HFKC) is an all-volunteer non-profit created to honor veterans of Kern County and surrounding areas. There are approximately 46,000 veterans in Kern County with over 8,000 of them World War II and Korean Veterans. Our mission is to honor and send America’s veterans to Washington D.C. to see the memorials built in THEIR honor for their service to our country - at no cost to the veteran. Every veteran accepted by HFKC for this honor travels at no cost to him/her due to the generosity of tax deductible donations from our community. The trips include all air and ground transportation, meals, overnight accommodations, and guided tours. With your donations, these American Heroes receive a hero’s send-off in Bakersfield and a hero’s welcome in Washington, D.C.


    Learn more about the Honor Flight Kern County by visiting


    The Drive One 4UR Class program supports teachers by allowing their own discretionary spending of dollars for their classroom needs. Many teachers commonly use their own money for basic classroom supplies and other creative materials to engage students. The Drive One 4UR Class program allows Jim Burke Ford Lincoln to help support student learning from solely the teacher’s perspective.


    Jim Burke Ford Lincoln randomly selects teachers to support. The funds are provided in $500 increments for each teacher at the high school, junior high or elementary school levels. The teacher is provided a vehicle for a two-day test drive, takes a short survey about their driving experience and describes how they plan to use the money for their classroom.

    Lupita Schekel  4th Grade, Casa Loma Elementary


    Dear Mikie Hay,

    I wanted to let you know that with the 500 hundred dollars I was able to buy subscriptions to Flocabulary and Brainpop. These are two educational websites. The websites have been very useful to engage students in the daily lessons. It also makes learning exciting for my students since most of them do not have the funds to purchase these subscriptions on their own. Without the additional funds there would have been no way I could have been able to get one much less two subscriptions. With the remaining funds I will be purchasing books for our classroom library. Without the help of generous businesses like yours, this would not have been possible.

    Thank You,

    Mrs. Schekel


    Please address inquires to:

    Mikie Hay

    VP of Community Affairs

    Jim Burke Ford

    P.O. Box 2686

    Bakersfield, CA 93303


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