Newsletters


April 2018 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Cristo Meza

Our student spotlight this month is a senior at Manual Arts High School. Cristo is in his 2nd year in the JKL program and is looking to get as much out of the program as he can before crossing the stage in June!

This year, Cristo took on the challenge to start running with the JKL program. He has already participated in both a 5k and 10k race and is eager to cap his senior year off with one additional race.

Since joining the JKL program, Cristo has seen his weight drop, experienced less stressful days, and has developed a love for community service. “Being able to give back and seeing people experience joy puts a smile on my face,” says Cristo.

The positive energy and family environment of the JKL program is one of the key elements that keeps Cristo coming back. After graduation, Cristo would like to volunteer for the JKL program and be an ambassador for change while attending college. He has aspirations to follow in the footsteps of his older brother by pursing a degree in mechanical engineering.

View Cristo's Video Spotlight:

 


 

Gratitude Quote of the Month

“I’m grateful for having this program where I am accepted and feel part of the team!”

– Emmanuel, Fremont

 


 

just keep livin Founder Matthew McConaughey honored as 2018 Inspiration Honoree

Our very own Matthew McConaughey was honored recently at the 3rd Annual City Gala held on March 4th at Universal Studios Hollywood for his work with the just keep livin Foundation.

The Gala brings together leaders in their fields who have the common goal of supporting humanitarian efforts. The event “raises critical funds to allow startup, nonprofit organizations to get the funding they need to achieve their goals,” said Ryan Long, Founder of City Summit & Gala. Matthew, who came to the event straight from presenting at the Oscars, gave an inspiring speech about his work with JKL followed by a Q&A with motivational speaker Greg Reid.

 


 

JKL Yoga Event at Alice + Olivia


The just keep livin Foundation celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th by bringing together a group of our female supporters for a fun morning of yoga and shopping at Alice + Olivia’s Melrose Store to benefit our afterschool fitness and wellness programs.

Alice + Olivia is our Fashion Designer this year at our annual fashion show fundraising event for MJ&M hosted by Camila this month in Austin!
Alice + Olivia was generous enough to open their store to kick off the event in Austin for this special morning with amazing women in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by Camila Alves McConaughey, JKL Board Member Robin Berman, longtime JKL volunteer and yoga instructor Kirschen Hagenlocher, and JKL Executive Director Shannon Rotenberg,

After Camila welcomed the group of women, Kirschen led everyone in a rejuvenating yoga session, and the program concluded with an inspiring speech by JKL student, Alyssa, who is a Senior and attends Animo Inglewood Charter High School. Alyssa said yoga is “the most therapeutic part of my day,” and thanked JKL for being a place “where bonds can be established…that has shaped us into the people we will become.”

There was still a lot of time to shop Alice + Olivia’s colorful designs after yoga as the store was generous enough to donate 20% of all proceeds from the day to JKL! Thank you to Alice +Olivia, our hosts and to all of the incredible women who came out to support our program!

 


 

Mark Phillippe – Guest Speaker at EAC Prep


The students at EAC Prep were thrilled to welcome Mark Phillippe to speak at their program. Mark did a great job of tying in the quote of the month on the importance of courage and how Honor, Courage and Commitment are the Marine Corps values that continue to drive him today in his everyday life.

The students were enthralled to hear about his experiences in the Marine Corps and the bond that was formed within his unit. He touched on how he followed his dream of opening up his own brewery.

It was important for the students to hear that despite obstacles that Mark faced trying to reach his dream, he never lost sight and was motivated to work that much harder to make it happen!

He gave great advice to always be open to other people’s perspectives. At the end of the session, Mark complimented the JKL students on how they demonstrated emotional maturity in the gratitude circle and was impressed with how vulnerable they allowed themselves to be in the circle! We are always grateful to members of our community who volunteer their time to share their stories with the JKL programs.

 


 

Washington D.C.’s Just Keep Livin Program Supports The Love Forward Campaign


On Sunday, March 11th, 20 students from our JKL programs from Roosevelt and Ballou attended a recent anti-bullying rally to stand-up and speak out against bullying in schools on the Roosevelt campus. Our JKL members have an incredible appetite for addressing social issues and supporting each other.

This forum brought in guest speakers, music, vendors and a chance for our students to stand united against bullying in our schools. The speakers at this event spoke on different types of bullying from peers whether it be at school or in the workplace as well as what we can do together to stop bullying in our schools.

The students left inspired to look for opportunities in their day to display acts of kindness towards others and speak out against bullying.

 


 

Wellness Tip from Camila

Taking Time for Mindfulness in the Morning

“I like to take some alone time every morning when I’m having my tea to set my intentions for the day. Think about your goals, what you are grateful for, or just take a few minutes to be present, take some deep breaths, and be in the moment. Our days get busy and it’s easy to forget to stop and check in with yourself.”

 


 

Recipe of the month – from Beller Nutrition

Natural Orange Ginger Sports Drink

Did you know that flavored sports drinks may contain up to 150 calories and an equivalent of about 10 teaspoons of sugar?! Yes, you can drink that much sugar and calories in one gulp and not even realize it. So, why not bypass all that extra stuff – sugar, food coloring and artificial flavors.

Seriously, your body just does not know what to do with that stuff and practically sees them as foreign invaders.(Like, what flavor is ‘Cool Blue’ anyway?) So, let’s refresh without excess by trying this natural orange ginger sports drink. It’s delish, energizing, all- natural, and did I mention energizing?! Ginger is one of the nature’s most potent stimulants that will keep you alert and ready-to-go during any sports practice or workout routine!

Servings: 3
Vegan, Gluten-free

Ingredients:
2 cup water
3-4 oranges, juiced
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon ginger juice
Optional: sprinkle of pure Grade A maple syrup

Directions:
1. In a tall glass or sports bottle, mix all of the ingredients. Serve chilled. It will last for two days in the fridge.
Optional: freeze in popsicle molds. They will last up to 1 month.

 


 

Swag of the Month

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Same as the original ~ Sky Blue pigment dyed hooded sweatshirt made of 8.5 oz. 80/20 cotton/poly. Decorated with red, white, blue and black screenprint.
SHOP NOW!

 


 

Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling

Better Alignment in 9 Moves

The fitness industry is flooded with programs that move the body at quick velocities aiming to burn calories and to help people aesthetically look better. While this might seem great at face value, we must not forget about the other important factors such as stretching (check out the foam rolling and tennis ball article) and restoring proper range of motion through dynamic flexibility and even through corrective exercises and movement restoration.

Movement restoration is an important missing link for the average fitness enthusiast because either people are too caught up in moving quickly within the small period of time they are given to train, or because these movements are how can I say this precisely — not exciting?

Read More

March 2018 Newsletter

Teacher Spotlight: Mark Finlay

AP Economics Teacher, dedicated staff member and the 2007 Texas State Karate Champion are just a few descriptions of our amazing JKL instructor, Mark Finlay! Mark is in his 4th year as a JKL instructor for the Eastern Hills H.S. program and has been teaching at this school for 11 years.

Mr. Finlay openly admits that since the inception of the JKL program, it has brought such a positive environment; a change that he had not seen before on the campus. Many of his JKL alums come back week after week to check in and also help lead workouts for the program.

The JKL community service events are the most important aspect of the program to Mr. Finlay. He was quoted saying, “Seeing kids working together outside of the school and giving back in the community is a great thing.” Mr. Finlay has displayed what it means to be a passionate instructor who goes beyond his JKL duties to ensure a quality program.

View Mark's Video Spotlight:

 


 

Gratitude Quote of the Month

“I’m grateful for being able to come to school and learn so that I can go home and teach my parents things they weren’t able to learn since they weren’t able to go to school.”

– Johnny, ASLA

 


 

Mack, Jack & McConaughey Announcements

We’re thrilled to announce that we have confirmed a couple of exciting names for our big annual fundraising event “Mack, Jack & McConaughey” (MJ&M) in Austin, TX this April. Grammy Award-winning band Dixie Chicks will headline the 2018 MJ&M Gala on Thursday, April 12, at Austin City Limits (ACL) Live at The Moody Theater. Tickets are on sale TOMORROW – Friday, March 2, at 10:00 am CST and available to the public at https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1652770?utm_source=artist.

Additionally, Grammy-Award winning artist Patty Griffin, along with Butch Walker, John Fullbright and more are set to perform at the Jack Ingram & Friends concert on Friday, April 13, 2018 at Austin City Limits (ACL) Live at The Moody Theater. Tickets are on sale now HERE!

We can also share the great news that renowned fashion designer, Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia, will showcase her latest collection at the exclusive MJ&M Fashion Show and luncheon at JW Marriott in Austin, Texas on Friday, April 13. The show is hosted by Sally Brown, Amy Ingram and Camila Alves McConaughey with presenting partner, Neiman Marcus. Please visit www.mackjackmcconaughey.org for more information on these great events and more!

 


 

JKL Board Member Jim Toth Speaks at Hamilton High School

On Monday, January 29th, just keep livin Foundation Board Member Jim Toth spoke to the JKL students at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. Part of the JKL curriculum is to discuss the quotes of the month that Matthew has provided for our programs. Jim did a wonderful job tying in January’s quote of the month about “curiosity” and encouraging students to stay curious in life!

Jim’s message about the importance of becoming comfortable in situations when students are uncomfortable really resonated with them. Jim emphasized to the students that even though they may feel uncomfortable in certain situations, it is through those very experiences that they will be able to grow. Thank you Jim for taking the time to connect with our students and encourage them to embrace life!

 


 

Rob Floyd – Guest Speaker at Fairfax High School

On Monday, January 29th, just keep livin Foundation Board Member Jim Toth spoke to the JKL students at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. Part of the JKL curriculum is to discuss the quotes of the month that Matthew has provided for our programs. Jim did a wonderful job tying in January’s quote of the month about “curiosity” and encouraging students to stay curious in life!

Jim’s message about the importance of becoming comfortable in situations when students are uncomfortable really resonated with them. Jim emphasized to the students that even though they may feel uncomfortable in certain situations, it is through those very experiences that they will be able to grow. Thank you Jim for taking the time to connect with our students and encourage them to embrace life!

 


 

Upward Bound House – Home Run for Kids

On Sunday, February 11th, our Los Angeles JKL programs came together for the 6th Annual Upward Bound House Home Run for Kids. Our students continue to show resilience year after year for this great event as they run to help end family homelessness! All of the JKL training sessions paid off for our students when they embraced each other on race day! We had over 30 JKL student runners participate and one of our students from Manual Arts, came in 3rd place! We are so proud of our students for showing up and doing their best! We look forward to bringing our JKL students back once again to encourage one another, have fun and challenge themselves with a smile.

 


 

just keep livin Foundation Annual Board Meeting

We really enjoyed getting together with our just keep livin Foundation Board of Directors and Advisory Board recently to recap 2017 and brainstorm for how to make 2018 even better! We hold these meetings once a year and it is always so revitalizing for us and for our programs to be able to come together and share successes, challenges and new ideas!

This past year was our biggest fundraising year yet and that kind of growth would not be possible without the support of our Board. It takes a village to have the kind of impact our programs are having and we are so grateful for the support of Matthew and Camila and all of these generous and passionate individuals who have the biggest hearts and love to give back. Cheers to a great rest of 2018!
 


 

Fitness Tip from Camila

“I am not someone who naturally loves to workout but I know that I need to do it regularly for my body and for my mind. I feel so much better when I know I am giving my body what it needs. My mood improves, I sleep better and I generally feel good when I make time to exercise. I try to make my workouts as fun as possible so that I can stay motived. For me, getting some basic equipment like a resistance band and a medicine ball and heading outside to a park is so much more enjoyable than being inside a gym. Try to find a workout that you find fun and it will help you stay on track!”

View Camila’s Fitness Tip Video:

 


 

Recipe of the month – from Beller Nutrition

Spiced Edamame – I bet you heard the word ‘edamame’ a few times before but are still not sure what that is. Well, ‘edamame’ is just a fancy word for green immature soybeans. Don’t be fooled by this funny-sounding name, edamame tastes much yummier than it might sound and they are so good for you!

Just half a cup of edamame really punches up the fiber, protein, vitamin and mineral content of your diet. They are one of the best ways to avoid a complete snacktastrophy. Just take them on-the-go in ziplock baggies or top your salad with 1 cup. You’ll love it!


Servings: 3
Vegan, Gluten-free

Ingredients:
16 ounce bag of frozen, organic, shelled edamame
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon turmeric
2 pinches of sea salt
Black pepper to taste

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
Thaw the edamame and pat dry with a paper towel to catch excess water.
Toss edamame, olive oil, and seasoning in a bowl.
Spread the edamame out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Roast 30-40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes. Watch for the edamame to puff and turn golden brown.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Let the edamame cool before eating.

 


 

Swag of the Month


You asked for it, and… alright alright alright ~ here it is!

Like our other shirts, it is made of super soft 100% cotton. Charcoal grey with red, white and blue screen print on front and blue screen print on back yoke. Shop Now!

 


 

Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling


Foam Rolling to Help Alleviate Chronic Pain

Whether you’re an athlete, weekend warrior, or a sedentary individual, your muscles accrue very uncomfortable adhesions which might be causing lower back pain and other joint pains.

Read More

February 2018 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Hasya

Basketball player, music lover and dedicated JKL student are just a few ways to describe the incredible Hasya from our Animo South L.A JKL program.

Hasya is a junior and is in her first year of programming. She has already shown great progress from decreasing her sugar intake, drinking more water, signing up for every community service opportunity and having perfect attendance in the program. Her teachers say “She is a core member with a big heart for the underdog!”

Hasya’s favorite components of the JKL program are the guest speakers and community service events. Through our guest speaker series, she has been challenge to goal set, think outside of the box and live better with a positive attitude. The community service events have become something near and dear to her heart, because she loves to give back and meet new JKL members in the process.

After high school she has aspirations to study forensics at UC Davis and eventually get accepted to Julia Arts to explore performance arts with an emphasis on directing. We look forward to watching her grow and achieve her dreams!

 


 

Gratitude Quote of the Month

“I’m grateful for JKL because it has taught me that my body is an amazing machine that can do anything I want it to if I treat it well.”

-Tim, Warren Easton

 


 

Check Out Camila’s New Website!

We’re excited to spread the word about our very own Camila Alves McConaughey’s newly updated website, www.womenoftoday.com!

Camila has done an amazing job creating this online community for women, founded on the believe that women need to support each other, share our stories, and find strength in numbers. On the site, you can find Camila’s recipes, fitness tips, Do-It-Yourself crafts ideas, motherhood and relationship advice and more. Check it out!

 


 

Lady Bird Lake Clean Up – Austin

On December 9th, in partnership with the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department , our JKL program at Akins High School volunteered at Lady Bird Lake to help with their initiative to tackle trash along the shoreline.

The JKL students and staff joined Keep Austin Beautiful volunteers as well as other students from around Austin in this annual Clean Lady Bird Lake event. Our Akins JKL staff also assisted Keep Austin Beautiful with preparing lunch for all the volunteers as well as with space provided at the Austin Youth Hostel.

At the hostel, students were also treated to a Christmas cookie decoration activity. Afterwards, the students walked off their lunch with a 2.5 mile hike around the Lady Bird Lake and bike trail picking up trash. This was a wonderful event where our students were able to join with other community members to help keep the park clean!

 


 

Peru Community Service Trip

We are beyond thrilled to announce that some of the JKL students from EAC Prep in Austin will be working with Peruvian Hearts, a non-profit organization founded by Ana Dodson. She was born in a small, poor village in Cuzco and adopted when she was an infant. She visited Cuzco when she was older and witnessed the poverty and lack of education that plagues Peru, especially among women. As a result she decided to take action!

Our JKL students will be spending ten days in Cuzco, working with the many different projects that Peruvian Hearts sponsors for women and their families, including a Women’s Empowerment group made up of teenagers the same age as our students. We are so excited to see what our students make of this experience and it is our hope that it opens up their hearts and mind to their own possibilities and potential to help make this world a better place, filling it with gratitude and service.

 


 

Cleveland Program Visits C-Town Fitness

This past month our new just keep livin program, Martin Luther King Jr Career Campus in Cleveland had the chance to participate in an amazing workout at a local gym in the community.

JKL Students and staff attended C-Town fitness, a unique health and fitness platform focused on creating change through a variety of channels: Therapeutic & rehabilitative services, education-mentoring, group coaching and many more. C-Town Fitness Coach, Aaron Clark, led a great innovative workout using both body weight and free weights to create a high energy environment. Our students were definitely challenged, but got through the workout just fine.

Aaron Clark and the entire C-Town fitness team were very professional and did a great job at encouraging and assisting our students during the workout. Our staff and students were so grateful for the opportunity and look forward to establishing a partnership for great workout trips in the near future.

 


 

Tip from Camila

“We all have moments in life when we regret saying something — Nobody is perfect, and we are all human and say things we regret every once in a while. My Mother in Law has an amazing expression: ‘let’s put White Out over that’ — Meaning, I wish I hadn’t said that, I feel badly about it, and would really appreciate it if I could apologize and we could move forward. When you do this, you are owning your own words, being transparent with the other person, and improving communication. It’s such an easy relationship tool to use, and makes a big difference!”

 


 

Recipe of the month – from Beller Nutrition

Pumped Up Oats

Did you know that a serving of oats on average costs about 15 cents?! Yes, you heard me right – 15 cents. Just think about all the delicious bowls of oatmeal you can make for $2 a month. Now, that’s an awesome deal!

And you know what, a bowl of oatmeal doesn’t have to be a bore – you can totally add some fun to it like fruits or berries, flax or chia seeds and cinnamon. I mean, whole grains, fiberlicious fruits and seeds, healthy fats and protein – all in one finger lickin’ combo?! This will definitely keep you pumped in the morning and all the way til lunch (no crashing). Here is how you make it:

Servings: 1 (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Ingredients:
• 1 cup cooked steel cut oatmeal
• 1 small apple, diced, or any fruit of your choice (bananas are my favorite!)
• 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds (found in almost any grocery store)

Optional Ingredients:
• Pinch of cinnamon

Directions:
Warm the oatmeal, mix in the diced fruit, add the chia seeds, and enjoy!

 


 

Swag of the Month

JKL Beach towels 
Regular $40, but for the month of February get yours for $35!

A portion of the proceeds goes to support the afterschool programs at the just keep livin Foundation.
Shop Now!

January 2018 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Leslie

Leslie, an avid runner and a sci-fi book lover is a senior at Hamilton High School who has embodied the JKL mission for 4 years! The JKL program has been a family affair for Leslie since early on in her high school career. Both her uncle and sister attended JKL and introduced her to the program.

Before joining the JKL team, Leslie was a very shy person who never understood the importance of being thankful. After getting acclimated with the JKL culture and mission, Leslie is now a true believer in being grateful and looks forward to participating in the gratitude circle. “The gratitude circle brings out the positive of the day and it allows us to end the day on a good note.”

Through the JKL program, Leslie has reduced her consumption of junk food, sugar and has become more conscious of her health especially with having a family history of diabetes. Camping, learning how to surf, and attending annual race events are some highlights for Leslie that keeps her dedicated and energized about the JKL program. Although the family tradition of having a relative attend JKL is over, Leslie is making sure she contributes to recruitment for the longevity of the Hamilton JKL program.

 


 

Dr. Robin Berman Speaks at our Venice JKL Program

One of our amazing and wonderful board members, Dr. Robin Berman, came and spoke to our Venice just keep livin program and shared some of her life experiences with the kids! Robin encouraged the students to “dream big” and not to allow “but” to stop them in pursuing their dreams! She shared with the students some of her experiences in Med School, an accident she endured and overcame, as well as shared some of her favorite quotes.

Following her visit with the kids, Andres was quoted as saying, “Robin’s talk reminded me that even when we are at our lowest, it is not impossible to get back up!” We are so grateful to Robin for her time and continued support of the JKL programs! Her positive messaging really resonated with all the students and they were so appreciative of the wishing bowls she brought for them!

 


 

Children’s Institute 23rd Annual Winter Fest 2017

This past December our Manual Arts and Animo South Los Angeles JKL programs participated in the 23rd Annual Children’s Institute’s “Winter Festival.” More than 1,500 local children who have been impacted by trauma, poverty and community violence had the chance to receive some holiday cheer! Our JKL students were among the 250 volunteers who made the day possible and special.

Each child who attended received a free toy and a day full of enjoyment at a Mattel sponsored playground, cookie decorating workshop, holiday photo booth, greeting card station and the entertaining holiday theatre show. It is always an amazing experience when our JKL student volunteer for Children Institute events. We look forward to many more collaborations in the future.
 


 

Dallas Community Service Event at Gabe Elementary

Approximately 55 of our Dallas just keep livin students and staff joined together for a community service event at Gabe Elementary School! The JKL students and staff focused their efforts on the blacktop at the school by painting cool stencils that contained games, educational information as well as nutritional information too!

They also cleaned out the garden beds, raked leaves and weeded throughout the campus so that when the elementary students arrived on Monday, the campus would be spruced up! We are grateful for members of the American Airlines team in Dallas as well as a few local volunteers who joined our JKL teams to provide this amazing campus beautification project! A great big thank you to our Site Coordinator, Markeith West and Emily Russell from United Way Dallas for their efforts in helping organize this wonderful event!

 


 

Donate Your Birthday to JKL!

Looking for a fun and easy way to support the just keep livin Foundation and help empower more students to live healthier lives? How about donating your birthday to JKL this year?! It’s just four easy steps:

– Go to https://www.crowdrise.com/JKLBirthdays
– Click on “Set Up Fundraiser”
– Select “Start a New Fundraiser”
– Give it a name, add a photo, then blast it out to your friends!

Our goal is to raise $30,000 so we can fund an ENTIRE JKL PROGRAM for a WHOLE YEAR! Who’s with us?!

Contact us for more information.

 


 

Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling

3 MINUTE PLANK CHALLENGE

Start your new year off right and do the 3 minute plank challenge! To learn more, click HERE

Planking has become one of the most popular “core” exercise known in the fitness industry. And as many of you might have noticed, it requires a lot of upper body strength, especially in the shoulders, abdomen, back and arms. Let’s be clear. The plank should actually utilize every muscle in the body, including the legs. Read More

 


 

Swag of the Month

Alright…Cap or Keep on Truckin’ Cap $22 EACH
6 panel structured with black terrycloth sweatband and velcro closure.
A portion of the proceeds goes to support the afterschool programs at the just keep livin foundation.
Shop Now!

December Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Christian

 

Christian is an 11th grade student at Sunset High School who is all about gratitude and taking advantage of the jkl program! “This is not a regular organization, our sponsors really care about us” says Christian. She is closing out her first semester in the jkl program and is already making her mark. She hasn’t missed one session, constantly promotes the program and always challenges herself!

Christian is currently training in jkl for her first 5k race which will take place this winter! Though she is a passionate Hip-Hop and Jazz dancer, preparing for the 5k has sparked a passion for running. Christian shared excitedly, “I feel better, I feel energized”.

Christian has total support from her parents who are glad she has a safe and welcoming place to go after school that challenges her physically and provides amazing opportunities. After high school, Christian would like to pursue a Psychology degree at the University North Texas. In addition to attending college, she has already promised to come back as an alum and volunteer for the jkl program.

 


 

Camila Alves McConaughey Steps Out to Give Back

On November 2nd, we were happy to lend our support to an organization who has been very generous to JKL over the years: Samsung. Our co-Founder, Camila Alves McConaughey, attended their annual Samsung Charity Gala at the Skylight Clarkson Square in New York, where she helped kick things off with NFL player Victor Cruz.

The co-presenters welcomed the crowd and later introduced a performance by Jon Bon Jovi. The festive evening also featured live performances by Hunter Hayes and Flo Rida. Entering its 16th year, Samsung’s philanthropic platform – Samsung Gives – remains committed to helping young people discover a world of possibilities. To date, Samsung philanthropic efforts have contributed more than $60 million, helping more than 1,200 schools, hospitals, and foundations throughout the U.S.

 


 

Caring Cards for St. Jude

Thank you to the jkl programs at Carter, Anacostia, Eastern Hills and AICHS that participated in the national Make A Difference Day Project for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Loukoumi Make a Difference Foundation rallies over 50,000 kids each year to make a difference on National Make a Difference Day.

Our jkl programs united together to make caring cards for patients at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital continues to lead the way with treating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Through this project, our jkl students showed compassion, support, care and inspiration through the words and pictures they created with their cards.

 


 

Camping at Bastrop State Park

Is your idea of a perfect holiday a camping trip where you can connect with nature? Well that is exactly what the jkl program at Akins High School did on a recent camping trip to Bastrop State Park. During the weekend camping excursion, the students were able to enjoy hiking, geocaching, astronomy, fire ecology, pumpkin carving and of course making s’mores around the fire!

For many of the students this was their first time camping and everyone loved it! We were thrilled to see this group come together to learn vital life skills through participating in the outdoors! There is no better place than camping in the wilderness to soak up the sunset or gaze up at the stars and build such memorable experiences!

 


 

RnR 5k Race

This past October, our Los Angeles jkl programs came together for the 7th annual Rock N Roll marathon held in Los Angeles. Our students continue to show resilience year after year for this event! All of the jkl training sessions and early morning pick up’s paid off for our students when they embraced each other on race day!

We had over 90 jkl student runners participate and one of our students, John, from Manual Arts, came in 3rd overall for his age division. Our students and staff love this event and with over 12,000 people in attendance with live music involved, it’s a great way to start your Sunday morning. We look forward to bringing our jkl students back once again to encourage one another, have fun and challenge themselves with a smile.

 


 

Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling

Some Tips to Surviving the Holidays

I am not the expert who will say to skip the turkey and gravy and decadent pumpkin pie. I say go in with a plan so that you don’t make yourself sick, and you can enjoy your holidays without any restrictions.

1) Stick to your exercise plan day. Elevating your heart rate through high intensity interval training (HIIT) has been proven a gagillion times to create an increase in your metabolic rate which can last up to 24 hours. How cool that your metabolism is revved up for when you dive into your feast?

2) Drink plenty of water. Water is excellent for decreasing the salt volume in your blood from all the treats you’ll be eating on this day. In addition, water throughout your celebration means less booze in your system.

3) Be creative with some fun veggie dishes for your company. I dedicated a whole VEGGIES section on my website for you. My new one which was a hit is called wing sauced cauliflower.

4) Get plenty of rest throughout the season. Going to bed late lowers your immunity thereby making you more susceptible to getting a post-holiday sniffle.

5) Enjoy everyone, and every moment of your celebration. Realize that the holidays only come once a year. However, a life of gratitude on the daily can truly lift up your spirits and provide you with true fulfillment for every day of the year.

November Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Mercedes MLK

 

Mercedes is a senior at Martin Luther King Jr H.S. in Cleveland. She is a dedicated student leader who is up for the challenge and embraces everything JKL has to offer on her campus.

This Cleveland High School is one of two inaugural programs that started this Fall. Since the program’s inception, Mercedes has not missed one session and has been a great advocate for recruiting her peers to join! Fitness is her favorite component of the program thus far, in particular, squat exercises and weightlifting.

Mercedes comes from a background of doing lots of community service projects with her youth group. She is eager to get her peers excited about community service projects like feeding the homeless in her local community. Mercedes plans on taking full advantage of the JKL program to help her lose 20 lbs by May 2018. She is such a vibrant light that is setting the example of what an active member looks like.

After graduation, Mercedes has aspirations of attending Eastern Michigan where she would like to obtain a business degree and open her own beauty salon.

 


 

Samsung Gives Back Event

Samsung recently hosted an “Evening for Giving Back” in New York highlighting JKL and the work we do. We have worked with Samsung in the past, and we were honored to once again partner with a company who has such strong philanthropic ties.

The intimate event, held in a loft in the Soho neighborhood, celebrated their new Frame TV, which combines design with technology, and transforms into a beautiful work of art when no one is watching. JKL Founders, Camila and Matthew McConaughey attended the event, and Matthew gave a heartfelt and informative speech to the crowd about the work we do here at the Foundation.

Perhaps the best part of the evening was that two of our j.k. livin students from our Roosevelt High School program in Washington D.C., Kamara and Hermela, as well as our D.C. Site Coordinator (and former JKL teacher) Quinn Flowers, were able to come in for the event. Ms. Flowers gave a moving speech (Kamara said a few touching words as well), and the students loved being in the Big Apple (one of them for the first time!), getting to do some site-seeing, a bus tour, and shopping. They were also each gifted with a brand new tablet! We are proud to partner with Samsung to help serve more amazing kids together!
 


 

Cleveland Making Strides

Our two Cleveland JKL programs, John Adams and Martin Luther King Jr High School, made some strides in October! In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, both programs participated in the “Making Strides of Cleveland Walk/Race Event.”

This was a special day for two of our JKL instructors who both have breast cancer survivors in their families and one who sadly lost a family member to the disease. It was great to have our JKL students walk 3 miles alongside their JKL instructors who walked in remembrance and support of their family members.

The event took place in downtown Cleveland at the Public Square where over 1,500 people were in attendance. The event raised over $74,000 to go towards innovative breast cancer research. An event like this is awesome because we are able to educate our JKL students and provide them with the opportunity to give back and have a fun physical workout in the process.

 


 

Washington Redskins 4th & Life High School Football Forum

The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation hosted their 15th annual 4th & Life High School Football Forum at the FedEx Field on October 10th. The Forum brings together a panel of current and former NFL players to prepare the high school student-athletes in attendance for life after football.

The panel consisted of Doc Walker (who emceed the panel discussion), Joe Ehrmann, Chris Carter, Kyshoen Jarrett, Anthony Lanier and Josh Wilson. All five men touched on a variety of topics and the event provided students and coaches with valuable tools and life lessons about prioritizing academics, preparing for college and discovering their passion outside of football.

We are so grateful to the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation for including JKL students from both Roosevelt and Ballou High School to this wonderful event!

 


 

Adidas Community Service Day

Adidas recently brought 700 of their employees from all over the country to LA for a “Day of Service,” and the just keep livin Foundation was lucky enough to be one of the nonprofit organizations selected to participate in this prestigious event!

Twenty JKL students from Huntington Park High School joined the team at Hollenbeck Middle School to partake in a variety sports clinics – soccer, volleyball, basketball – led by Adidas staff, as well as campus beautification efforts. JKL students were paired up with the middle school participants, allowing them to not only learn new athletic skills, but to also provide a bit of “mentoring” as well.

Through our involvement with this event, JKL has also been given a donation of new sports equipment including 100 soccer balls, 50 basketballs, 200 pairs of shorts, shin guards, cones and more from Good Sports! Thank you Adidas for including us in such a fun and rewarding opportunity!

 


 

Ryan Gray-Guest Speaker at Venice High School

The JKL students from Venice High School in Los Angeles enjoyed a fun and interactive session with Ryan Gray. Ryan shared his story growing up in Hawaii and his experiences as a stuntman, Martial Artist and his interest in health and wellness.

Ryan also touched on the importance of finding your “bliss” and pursuing what makes you happy which resonated with the group! Students were introduced to a variety of percussion instruments which they also had a chance to try out as well as learn some Capoeira moves! Capoeira is an art which combines self-defense, dance and music.

The JKL students were thoroughly engaged as they enjoyed the musical instruments and were able to bring together music, dance and martial arts in this fun filled session!

 


 

Ranch Clean Up Day

On October 1st, 20 students from our Animo Inglewood JKL program and three of our awesome alumni assisted in beautifying the E.L.S.A. ranch in Calabasas, CA.

E.L.S.A. (Experience Learning Support with Animals) is a nonprofit organization that serves individuals with special needs and at-risk youth through the benefits of equine-assisted activities in a ranch setting. They opened up their ranch for our students to enhance a few areas on their grounds. We built a much-needed chicken run, created a huge compost pile, detailed all tack equipment and renovated their oak tree turnout.

Students and staff worked hand-in-hand together to accomplish tasks with smiles and laughter. The event was a huge success and ended with a giant gratitude circle and fresh squeezed lemonade. We are looking forward to collaborating with E.L.S.A. in the near future to provide more community service opportunities for our JKL students.

 


 

Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling

 

Shorter workouts are just as beneficial as longer ones. I have written many many multi-chain workouts that are short through the Huff Post HERE.

Click HERE for 3 additional 10 minute cardio plans for your convenience.

Even if you only get 10 minutes in a day, it is better than nothing. Remember, you only need 200 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intensity. That can be split into however you’d like. Let’s make it happen!

October Newsletter

Teacher Spotlight: Anthony Thomas

Mr. Thomas is a 3rd year Teacher/Instructor for the JKL at Animo South Los Angeles! He has played a major role in shifting the after school culture on the ASLA campus and has become a sought after teacher to collaborate with.

The passion and positive influence he displays to the students in the ASLA JKL program is unmatched. He is an ambassador for the gratitude circle and strives to keep it sacred in the program. He feels that the gratitude circle is essential in that it sets aside time for students to express their gratitude amongst their peers. Mr. Thomas’ passion for encouraging positivity among the students comes from his appreciation for life.

He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer at the age of 8 and has prevailed from the cancer since he was 12 years old. Says Mr. Thomas, “The purpose of my life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be moral, to be compassionate, and to be able to make some kind of difference because I have lived.” Mr. Thomas has contributed his time, energy and professional skill of photography to the JKL program and foundation. Many of our favorite pictures from our programs in action have come from his creative eye. We are fortunate to have Mr. Thomas on our j.k livin team leading the charge and impacting our JKL students here in Los Angeles!

 


 

Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation Event and Field Day

 

On Wednesday, September 13th, students in our Dallas area just keep livin Foundation programs got to experience a special treat, thanks to our longtime partner, the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.

Teens from Eastern Hills High School in Ft. Worth, L.G. Pinkston High School in Dallas, and Sam Houston High School in Arlington were brought to the Rangers Youth Ballpark for an afternoon of fitness and fun, complete with relay races and hula hoop games. In addition, the kids got to meet just keep livin Foundation Founder Matthew McConaughey who talked to them about the importance of trying to infuse life’s more mundane tasks such as homework and chores with a sense of pleasure and fun, to make them more bearable!

Congregating on the shaded bleachers to beat the Texas heat, the kids shared their favorite parts of the just keep livin program and had a great time getting to ask Matthew questions and even hear the story behind his famous phrase – “Alright Alright Alright.” The students were then brought over to Globe Life Park, where they watched the Rangers take on the Seattle Mariners.

One very lucky JKL student, Samiya Momhamed-Fawzy who has been in the program 3 years, even got to throw out the first pitch in the game, with some on-field support from Matthew! Thanks so much to the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation for an amazing continued partnership and for always creating such special opportunities for our students! (Photo Credit: Kelly Gavin, Texas Rangers)

 


 

Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

 

We are thrilled to kick off the 2017-2018 school year and wish all of our JKL educators a successful year of programming! We continue to be in awe of the positive impact each of our teachers make.

As you all know, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas Gulf area recently and wreaked havoc on many lives. The students of the Akins High School just keep livin program in Austin wanted to find a way to volunteer and help with the recovery efforts.

They decided to hold a Hurricane Harvey Relief Pet Supply Drive at their school to benefit Austin Pets Alive! Many animals were displaced during the hurricane and their local animal shelter anticipated on taking in hundreds of animals. So the Akins students opted to help with the growing need for pet-related items by collecting donations from the local community.

The students were able to collect cat litter, collars, tarps, dog treats, and bowls for feeding, and then take all donated items directly to A.P.A. for distribution. We love seeing our students join together with their local community to help those in need!

 


 

LADF College and Career Accelerator

 

Last month, two of our Los Angeles JKL programs, Fremont and Animo Inglewood, had the chance to attend the Los Angeles Dodger Foundation’s College and Career Accelerator Panel discussion. Our students had a great time hearing from the professional minds who make the Dodgers organization operate smoothly from behind the scenes.

The panel was moderated by Nichol Whiteman (Executive Director of LADF) and the panelists included Sara Curran (Assistant Controller), Doug Fearing (Director of Research and Development and Baseball Operations), Paige Kirkpatrick (Director of Partnership Sales Administration and Service), Matt Mesa (Manager of Social Media, Digital and Print Content), Lenora O’Keith (Desktop Technician) and Ross Yoshida (Director of Graphic Design and Marketing Communication).

The panelists gave firsthand information on what it takes to pursue a career in the sports industry. Internships were a common thread for all the panelists who stressed that obtaining an internship in the career that students are passionate about can pay off down the line. Some of the key takeaways the panelists expressed to our students were to be cautious of their social media presence, to be kind to those around them and to “go above and beyond the job you were hired for.”

The LADF did a great job assembling a top-notch panel and providing awesome door prizes, including field level tickets to the final regular season game, which one of our JKL students took home! We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Los Angeles Dodger Foundation and providing more amazing opportunities for our JKL students.

 


 

Los Angeles Rams Game

On Sunday, September 10th, 105 of our just keep livin students and staff attended the home opener for the Los Angeles Rams! We are so grateful to the Los Angeles Rams Foundation for their generous donation of tickets to provide such a wonderful experience for our JKL students.

For many of our kids, this was their first time attending a professional football game. The smiles on the their faces were evidence of their excitement as they cheered the Rams to a 46-9 win. When we visited our local programs the week after the game, the students were still talking about their incredible experience and how much fun they had attending the game!

 


 

Sydney Paige Inc Donates 1,250 Backpacks to JKL Students

We want to give a huge thank you to Sydney Paige Inc. for their generous donation of 1,250 backpacks (many of them filled with school supplies as well!) to JKL students for the start of the new school year!

Sydney Paige’s mission is to promote the importance of education and enrich the life of a child in need while empowering those more fortunate to help break the cycle of poverty… one child at a time. For every product they sell, another is donated to a student in need, with the goal of giving under-served children the tools and confidence they need to learn and thrive in school.

We’re proud to be one of Sydney Paige’s “Giving Partners” that customers can choose to donate their “free” backpack to upon checkout. 1,250 backpacks exceeded our highest expectations for this partnership and we are so grateful to them for making this possible for our students nationwide! You can continue to support this ongoing campaign by purchasing a bag HERE and another gets filled with supplies & donated to a j.k. livin student!

 


 

JKL Store Opening

 

We hope you are just as excited as we are about the 2.0 version of the just keep livin store. You can start shopping immediately at justkeeplivin.com, and this is the ONLY place you can purchase official just keep livin products!

We are excited to be selling official JKL T-shirts, hats, other fun accessories, as well as a limited-edition hurricane relief T-Shirt. Our goal is to provide you with fresh options throughout the year, so please check back at the store often and send us your suggestions!

Last, but not least, don’t forget to send in pics of yourself sporting your new JKL gear for a chance to be featured on the site! Welcome (back) to the family, and remember, now times and all time, just keep livin!

 


 

Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling

Click Here for a Total Body Workout in 5 Moves

In this workout you will challenge:

  1. Proprioception
  2. Balance
  3. Multi-plannar movements
  4. Compound movements that involve multiple muscles at once

Enjoy!

September Newsletter

Student Spotlight: John

Despite the fact he’s only just starting his Sophomore year, JKL member John from Eastern Hills high school in Fort Worth, TX, is already making the investment to have the just keep livin program be an essential part of his high school journey. In addition to making sure he doesn’t miss a session, John has formed new bonds with his peers and has been an advocate in recruiting new students to join the program.

Although running is his passion, his favorite component of the JKL program is the Gratitude Circle, because that is where he experiences the most connectivity with his peers. He loves that everyone feels comfortable sharing personal things with no judgement and how that creates a family atmosphere within the group.

Furthermore, John’s parents are glad he has a safe place after school where he can go to experience unique opportunities and develop healthy eating habits that he can share with his siblings. John’s favorite JKL moment so far is when he volunteered for the “Flavor Run.” He had to make sure that all the runners passing by got their fair share of fruit flavored colored powder!

Upon graduation, John would love to study Law Enforcement at UT Dallas and then become a lawyer. We love students like John who jump right in to our program and actively participate, and we look forward to hearing more about his JKL journey this upcoming school year!


Welcome Back JKL

We are thrilled to kick off the 2017-2018 school year and wish all of our JKL educators a successful year of programming! We continue to be in awe of the positive impact each of our teachers make in improving the lives and health of the students we serve. We will have six new JKL programs kicking off their inaugural programs this year: John Adams H.S. and Martin Luther King Jr. H.S in Cleveland, OH; Jordan H.S. in Los Angeles, CA; Lanier H.S. in Austin, TX; Phelps H.S. in Washington D.C; and Cohen H.S. in New Orleans, LA. We have some really strong and passionate change-makers who will be running these programs and we are looking forward to watching them thrive!


Lip Sync Battle Field Trip

On Saturday August 19th, 15 of our just keep livin students from Animo South Los Angeles high school were thrilled to attend Nickelodeon’s “Lip Sync Battle: Shorties” at Warner Brothers Studios! Students enjoyed the full VIP experience as they got to go behind the scenes prior to taping as well as meet some of the contestants and enjoy refreshments.

The taping was hosted by JoJo Siwa and Nick Cannon who were so friendly and accommodating to our group and provided them with a truly electric experience! Our students danced and cheered as they watched some of their favorite up-and-coming celebrities lip sync their hearts out as they took the big stage. We are so grateful to Casey Patterson, Brittany Mehmedovic and the whole team at Casey Patterson Entertainment for their continued support of just keep livin and for providing yet another wonderful experience for some of our Los Angeles students!


Landry Walker HS Wellness Clinic

School has only just started, but JKL members are already making great strides towards improving their health! On August 5th, students from our j.k. livin program at Landry Walker High School in New Orleans participated in the Algiers Community Health and Wellness Expo.

At the event, students had the opportunity to participate in a myriad of free fitness activities and left with their arms full of gifts from various health and wellness vendors, along with valuable information about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Our members got the chance to partake in Exercise/Fitness Classes, Healthy Cooking Demonstrations, Wellness Screenings, a Blood Drive, Rock Climbing as well as visit a booth that helped place students in careers in the healthcare field. We are so grateful for those JKL members who participated in this event and were able to connect with local organizations within the New Orleans community and gain educational information and resources for healthier living!


JKL Alumni Give Back

We love it when our JKL students cultivate a passion for giving back that they can then take with them even after they graduate! This summer, two of our JKL alumni, Evelyn R. from ASLA and Chris R. from Venice High School, continued to give back to their local community by serving as a camp counselors at Camp Ubuntu – Watts.

This 6 week-long day camp, sponsored by the Harold Robinson Foundation, is held at Markham Middle School in the underserved Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts. Camp Ubuntu seeks to equip students with the tools to achieve, connect and thrive by providing them with access to a meaningful and engaging summer camp experience in a safe and nurturing environment.

When we caught up with Evelyn after camp, she told us, “this is where I realized how big of an impact I have on the future generation because I was able to provide a positive learning experience to the kids. I am not so sure where else I would have had that chance.” Evelyn and Chris both felt that they learned and grew from the experience just as much as the younger campers they were there to help! They were amazed at how any time they needed a hand, there was always someone willing to help! Both Chris and Evelyn are so grateful for the positive experience of being counselors at this wonderful camp and having such a fulfilling experience!


Terranea Chef’s Table Dinner

On Thursday August 24th, the just keep livin Foundation was honored to be the featured charity partner of Terranea Resort’s “Chef’s Table Dinner.” This exclusive event, held in one of the resort’s beautiful villas, was attended by 15 of Terranea’s clients who have a passion for food, wine and giving back.

In addition to receiving a portion of the proceeds from the evening, JKL Managing Director Erica Doyle was invited to attend the event and speak to the guests about JKL’s mission and programs. We would like to thank our water sponsor Icelandic Glacial for bringing us this special opportunity!


Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling

Partner Workout in the Gym

This one will set your muscles on fire. Recently published in the Huffington Post, this workout can also be viewed on my website HERE.

So grab a partner and go. Get ready to sweat like a pig but look like a super hero. LOL!

August Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Hermela

Hermela, an outstanding member of just keep livin, is a rising-Senior at Roosevelt High School. Even though last year was her first with the JKL program, she has already benefited so much from her involvement with the group. She has made strides towards conquering her shyness and becoming a healthier and more active teenager. At first, Hermela was too shy to work out in front of her peers, but once she felt the positive encouragement and support within the program, she immediately became a fiercely dedicated member.

Her father is proud that she is being active after school, especially since joining a sports team was never a focus of hers and JKL provides a different type of outlet for her to exercise and meet new people. Hermela’s favorite activities are learning how to use the weight room equipment properly and participating in the weekly swim classes.

Since joining the JKL program, Hermela has become more conscious of her eating habits and has vowed to make better food choices that will influence her two little brothers to eat healthier. She found herself becoming a natural ambassador for the program and is determined to get all her peers involved. Hermela comes from a family of small business owners and wants to obtain a degree in accounting and finance to follow in their footsteps. She would love to be accepted into Virginia Central University for undergrad and get her MBA from UCLA.


Alright Alright Alright T-Shirt Campaign

Just in case you need a good excuse to shop…For 2 weeks only, help Matthew McConaughey raise money for the just keep livin Foundation by purchasing his limited edition ‘alright, alright, alright’ T-shirt and hat. Exclusively at www.Represent.com/matthew from now until August 14th only!


JKL Expansion into Cleveland

What’s Matthew McConaughey been doing in Cleveland recently? In addition to filming his upcoming film, White Boy Rick, he’s also been working hard to bring our just keep livin afterschool fitness and wellness program to two local high schools he developed a soft spot for while filming nearby – John Adams and Martin Luther King Jr.

We brought the JKL instructors from these two schools out to LA in June for our annual National Teacher Training. They are all really excited to get the program started and feel confident Cleveland will be a great fit for JKL! Matthew recently chatted with Katie Couric for Yahoo News about the affinity he’s developed for this resilient city and what he hopes to bring to students there through the j.k. livin program. Check out the piece here.


JKL National Teacher Training 2017

This year our annual National Teacher Training in Los Angeles was a blast! 70 of our JKL teachers gathered from our programs all over the country to learn from each other, share best practices, and most of all get re-energized for another year of JKL programming. Microsoft was nice enough to allow us to use their cool “Microsoft Lounge” space in Venice Beach for the training, as well as provide gourmet catering for our teachers to enjoy.

Our teachers got a special surprise when Mr. McConaughey himself stopped by to kick off the first day on his way to the airport! He told some great stories about the origins of the phrase “just keep livin” and fired up the teachers for the long day ahead. This year’s theme was based around communication and creativity. We always like to encourage and inform our teachers on ways to enhance the JKL program at their respective schools and how to provide new opportunities for their students.

We split the teachers up into 2 groups for workouts at Body By Simone and Burn 60, respectively, followed by delicious cold-pressed juices from Pressed Juicery. As a reward for all their hard work, the group enjoyed a fun happy hour on the beach in Marina Del Rey at the Jamaica Bay Inn as well as a rowdy Italian dinner outside on the patio at C&O Trattoria! We especially loved welcoming in the teachers from our newest programs at Cohen High School in New Orleans, and John Adams and Martin Luther King Jr. high schools in Cleveland.


LourdMurray NFL Fantasy Football Camp

The 2nd Annual LourdMurray NFL Fantasy Football Camp held at Brentwood School was in full throttle in mid-July! Our j.k. livin team was proud to help organize this week-long camp which provided an opportunity for over 200 inner city youth to sharpen their athletic skills while being mentored by some of their favorite Pro Players! The camp, open to incoming 6th, 7th and 8th graders, was attended by students from Olive Crest, KIPP LA schools, the Watts Bears, Brentwood School and Wilder Preparatory Academy.

We are very grateful to the Brentwood Football coaching staff and administration for hosting the camp, as well as to all of the NFL players who donated their time to give these students a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This year’s NFL professionals included Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys), Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos), Aqib Talib (Denver Broncos), and Kyle Williams (Buffalo Bills), among others. We want to give a special shout out as well to FitJoy for providing delicious protein bars to keep the campers power through the hot days!


Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling

Summer is in full swing and that means barbecues, picnics, and lots of other opportunities to celebrate. Here are some viable tools to help you stay on track with your health while enjoying GREAT times with the GREAT people in your life:

  1. Eat before you go to the party: This will put you in a position to not be desperate to pick from the party table, especially since you ain’t gonna see a lot of veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats. (or maybe you will!)
  2. Grab a workout before the festivities: A high intensity interval training program will guarantee your body’s metabolism a little kick in the rear for up to 36 hours. So your body will become a calorie burning furnace for that chip or two you eat with dip and whatever else you eat (and drink)…
  3. Drink plenty of water: If you drink booze, then drink water WITH IT. If you are looking to get drunk off your rear-end, then I have no tips for you! Ha.
  4. Do your best to get 8 hours of sleep that night: Your body will be physiologically off, thereby lowering your immunity a bit, so stave off any viruses and bacterium through optimal rest so that you can avoid getting sick. Many people tend to get sick after binging on their favorite things and letting loose.
  5. Decide that whatever you do, don’t spend the time feeling isolated as the person on a diet: There is nothing more annoying than guests being uncomfortable because of their personal self-set restrictions. Get it out of your head now cause it will ruin your time. As long as you go in with a viable plan and hop right back into optimal eating and personal care the very next day, you will be fine. One meal only people; don’t make it a whole day’s affair of eating and drinking crap.

July Newsletter

Student Spotlight: James

In addition to being a cyber tech enthusiast, James, a member of the j.k. livin program at Sam Houston High School in San Antonio, is on a mission to achieve workout gains and protect the world.

James is a Senior and has been a faithful member of the JKL program since its introduction this past Fall. He enjoys having a place to come work out with new friends and learn important information about health and nutrition. Prior to joining the JKL program, James volunteered with the Theatre Arts program and took pictures for the yearbook club.

James is taking steps to cut down on his junk food intake and is starting to watch the nutritional content of his meals. James’s mother enjoys the fact that he has a safe place after school that encourages positivism and gratitude. JKL instructor Mr. Jose Luna says, “James has always been a great competitor and he loves taking on challenges and, for him, giving up is not an option. He is a great positive example for his peers in the JKL program.” James currently has a 3.0 and his goal is to study cyber security at the University Texas San Antonio after high school.


JKL Shining Stars from Venice High School

We are thrilled to give a special shout out to three graduating Seniors from our just keep livin program at Venice High School in Los Angeles. Christopher, Max and Juan each received the “James Worthy Coach of the Year” award along with $250 scholarships, respectively.

Max will be attending West LA College in the Fall to study Mathematics and then plans to transfer to UCLA to major in Statistics. Ultimately, he wants to pursue a career in Data Analytics and to specialize in Sports Data Probability. Chris is going to Santa Monica College and then plans to transfer to UCLA to major in Psychology/Child Development. Juan will also be attending SMC in the Fall and may pursue a Physical Education degree with a focus on Special Education.

Christopher and Max peer-coached for seven seasons with Team Prime Time in basketball, flag football, and soccer. Juan peer-coached for five seasons with all 3 sports as well. These Seniors have consistently demonstrated enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment to coaching student athletes with special needs throughout the entire time they were members of JKL. They loved helping and giving back to others so much that they would take the initiative to recruit other peer coaches and made sure that they were available when called upon! We cannot say enough about these three young men and wish them all the best in their new endeavors!


Operation Progress

Earlier this month, the just keep livin office staff, along with Board Member Robin Berman, attended a “Ride Along” with the Operation Progress team in the Watts area of Los Angeles. Operation Progress is an organization that seeks to create hope, opportunity and success for disadvantage youth in L.A. The organization has a unique partnership with LAPD, were the officers serve as mentors to young students in the community each week.

LAPD Officers Coughlin and Ortiz, as well as Operation Progress Executive Director Theresa Gartland, did a great job educating our team on the history of Watts, showing us the housing units and giving us a chance to meet their O.P. students at a local elementary school. We even had the chance to meet an O.P. graduate who is heading to Boston College in the Fall. The trip was an eye-opening experience for us all and we look forward to collaborating with Operation Progress in the near future.


Venetian Blackjack Tournament

We were honored to be selected by The Venetian Las Vegas as the charitable beneficiary of a Blackjack Tournament they put together on Saturday, June 17th. Our very own Matthew McConaughey hosted the event, which was an exclusive gathering for some of the hotel and casino’s special guests.

Attendees included actress Ali Larter (“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”), Hayes MacArthur (“Angie Tribeca”), Country singer Jack Ingram, and Butch Gilliam of CNBC’s “West Texas Investors Club.” The event’s menu featured such delicacies as poached truffle egg custard with caviar and wagyu beef tartare.

In addition to his hosting duties, McConaughey also served as Auctioneer for the evening, bringing in some additional funds by auctioning off enticing packages such as premiere tickets for his upcoming film, The Dark Tower. We want to sincerely thank The Venetian Las Vegas for executing a flawless, fun-filled event and for being such a generous supporter of JKL!


Pedal on the Pier

On Sunday June 4th, several of our current and former just keep livin students volunteered to participate at the Pedal on the Pier fundraiser, held at the iconic Santa Monica Pier, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

This outdoor physical philanthropy event, during which 400 + riders cycle for 5 hours/100 miles along with some of the city’s top cycling instructors, is one that we always love supporting. This annual event raises money for the Harold Robinson Foundation, which provides the funding and resources to send Los Angeles’ less fortunate children to camp in a safe and nurturing environment, far away from the stress that most of them face on a daily basis.

We are lucky enough to get to send our JKL students to Camp Ubuntu every year thanks to this amazing organization, and it has become one of the experiences our students look forward to the most! It was so nice for JKL members to be able to help give back to our partner organization in such a fun and active way!


Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling

NUTRITION: Cold Salads for Summer

On hot days, eat cold, organic and raw veggies. Don’t like raw? Get creative. You can simply mix raw veggies with apple cider vinegar and other miracle toppings that align with optimal health, while providing out of this world flavor.

My favorite is my Israeli Salad. I love putting tuna in there, but I will warn you that you should only apply the tuna when you are absolutely ready to eat it. Therefore, keep the tuna salad separate from the other veggies and then mix when you are ready to rock it. This is a great easy picnic and party option. Others LOVE it.