NewsKern's Kindness


Group of longtime friends create scholarship to honor life of Fred Zulfa

Fundraising dinner happening April 23
Posted at 7:12 AM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 11:43:28-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Fred Zulfa was a remarkable friend

“Fred [had] this wicked sense of humor. [I] don’t know anybody who couldn’t appreciate it," said Andrea Norman.

Andrea and Jill Fordyce graduated alongside Fred from West High in 1982. They were all good friends on the debate team.

"I look at my memories of high school and being a friend of his is one of the most dear things that happened," said Andrea.

Fred passed away in 1992 but his high school friends are keeping his memory alive and honoring him with the Fred Zulfa Memorial Scholarship. They created it in 2013 solely for West High seniors.

"When we did the application, we were trying to [think], 'What would Fred want to know about these people?'" said Jill.

Jill said Fred loved music and film, so the application asks about things like favorite movie characters and song lyrics.

She said she sees Fred’s passion in each year’s applicants.

“We [didn’t] understand how much we would learn about these kids from asking these questions and that’s been a really fruitful part of the process," said Jill.

The scholarship’s fundraising dinner is happening at Luigi’s Warehouse April 23. Tables, individuals tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Student recipients will be there, with all funds going towards the scholarships.

Andrea said the event not only raises scholarship money but also reunites Fred’s loved ones.

“It’s great for the people [that] Fred means a lot to, to gather every year and spend some time together," she said.

Remembering their special time as high schoolers while inspiring current Kern County students.

“Looking at the faces through the years now of all the kids we've been able to give a scholarship to in honor of Fred, [it's] just been incredibly meaningful," said Jill.

If you’d like to attend the upcoming fundraiser or apply for the scholarship, visit the Fred Zulfa Memorial Scholarship Facebook page.