January 2020 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Yomerly: Brooklyn School for Social Justice, New York


Meet Yomerly, a sophomore student from our new JKL program at the Brooklyn School for Social Justice in New York.

Yomerly, a once shy girl that lacked confidence and friends, has found her safe haven within the JKL program. She is an inspiring poet and avid journaler. Yomerly reports that socializing is a bit easier with the help of the gratitude circle and peer-to-peer support during fitness activities.

“Yomerly is a respectful and highly motivated young woman. She has attended every JKL meeting and represents the result of a student who truly immerses themselves in the JKL program.”- Ms Chu. We are excited to see Yomerly thrive with our JKL program for years to come.



One Voice



This Holiday season, our Los Angeles JKL programs brought over 100 students to volunteer for the One Voice Holiday Food Program.

This was our 10th year partnering with One Voice at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica. While there, we sorted and packaged food for 2,500 families living in poverty in the Los Angeles area. Our students had a great time listening to holiday music, sweating with smiles and working in teams to get everything done.

We are so grateful for this partnership and love providing such a powerful community service opportunity for our JKL students. We are looking forward to next year’s event!



Let’s All Go To The Movies



On Monday, December 16th, 75 of our JKL students were lucky enough to attend a pre-release screening of the powerful movie, Just Mercy.

This must-see film tells the true story of Walter McMillian (played by Jamie Foxx), who with the help of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) appeals his murder conviction. At the conclusion of the movie, students got the opportunity to hear the inspiring life story of Adnan Khan who is Executive Director of Re:Store Justice, an organization that aims to reform the justice system. We are so grateful to AMC, film producer Scott Budnick, and Warner Bros Studios for making this happen and giving our students a night to remember!



ELSA Ranch Cleanup



Our Huntington Park JKL program experienced a community service event “ranch style”!

On November 16th, 20 students from HP assisted in beautifying the ELSA ranch in Agoura Hills, CA. ELSA (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 spruced up the chicken coop, demolished the fence surrounding the horse coral, and weeded and cleaned out the garden area. Students and staff worked hand and hand seamlessly together to accomplish a much appreciated ranch cleanup with smiles and laughter.

The event was a huge success and ended with a picnic and making homemade lemonade. We are looking forward to collaborating with ELSA in the near future to provide more community service opportunities for our JKL students.



Beller Nutrition Recipe of the Month

After School Snacks!

Rachel Beller MS, RDN

Take your after school snacks to another level, by upgrading your plain crackers with these cracker combos.

Not only will you be adding flavor to your snack, but you’ll also be adding additional nutritional value with each ingredient— nut butters add protein, cacao nibs and cinnamon add antioxidants, red pepper flakes add beta carotene and vitamin A, and parsley adds even more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Can you believe all the nutrition packed into an easy after school snack?! Best thing is they are easy to assemble and require very little clean up! 
Go ahead and smear the following toppings onto whole grain bread or crackers:
• 1 tablespoon peanut butter + generous shakes of Ceylon cinnamon 
• 1  tablespoon teaspoons peanut butter + 1 teaspoon raw cacao nibs + cinnamon 
• ½  avocado, mashed + drizzle of balsamic vinegar + pinch of red pepper flakes 
• 2 tablespoons hummus + few kalamata olives, chopped + sprinkle of fresh parsley, chopped 
•  1 tablespoon pesto sauce +  cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 



Camila’s Tips



Classic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you’re looking for a foolproof holiday side dish then look no further than this go-to: Classic Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

You see them on many holiday tables, and there is a good reason why! They are healthy, hearty, delicious … And easy to make! We love this classic recipe for them because it is so easy to do, and tastes good every single time. They also taste (almost) just as good re-heated the next day.

This is NOT a hard dish to try and make, so it’s a great one for beginner chefs, or if you are having the kids help you cook!

• 2 lbs frozen Brussels sprouts
• 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 tps fresh ground pepper
• 1 large lemon, cut into 8 wedges

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Combine all ingredients and spread on a dark cookie sheet or baking pan
3. Turn every 10 minutes or as needed
4. Roast for 45-60 minutes until browned and tender
5. Plate in a serving dish and garnish with lemon wedges
6. This can be served immediately or made ahead and reheated

View the Recipe on



Swag of the Month:

Meet the newest addition to our apparel family — the custom lace-up hooded sweatshirt. Includes 1 white lace and – wait for it – 1 custom printed just keep livin lace.

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December 2019 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Folasade, Carver High School; Houston, TX


Meet Folasade, a senior at Carver high school in Houston, who is on a mission to spread positivity and encouragement! The Carver JKL program is completing their 1st semester and has been making strides with recruitment and peer to peer mentorship.

We can thank Folasade for taking the lead in setting the tone for the JKL program on the Carver campus. “Folasade thoroughly enjoys helping others and serving our community. She is the first to volunteer to help with community service and help recruit her peers for the program” – Ms Davis Cook.

Before the JKL program came to Carver, Folasade was involved in the Theater program and warriors for Christ clubs after school. She is such a super star that she still finds the time to participate in those clubs and in jkl without missing a session. When asked why she chose to join the jkjl program she replied “I wanted to be part of a community that will help me accomplish my fitness goals and support my passion for community service”.

After high school, Folasade would like to receive a nursing degree from her dream college – John Hopkins University – and become a pediatrician. We are so excited to see where her aspirations take her!



Win a Personal Video Message from Matthew McConaughey!



Do you or someone you love need some extra encouragement to just keep livin? Now is your chance to experience the pep talk of a lifetime from the one and only, Matthew McConaughey!

Donate at least $25 at NOW through DEC. 31st to be entered to win.





Tennessee Titans Annual Coat Drive



On Sunday, November 24th, our Nashville jkl programs gathered to lend a helping hand for the Tennessee Titans Annual Coat Drive.

Prior to the Titans-Jaguars game, fans were encouraged to participate in the team’s annual coat drive. New and gently used coats of all sizes were dropped off at one of several collection sites outside of the Nissan Stadium where our JKL students were stationed to collect them.

The following evening, our students gathered back at the stadium where they sorted 650 coats! After they finished sorting, the students were treated to a tour of the stadium and locker room! The evening concluded with a dinner hosted by the Titans organization.

The coats were picked up by six very thankful local non-profit organizations, who will in turn distribute them to the communities they serve. Giving back is a huge part of our programming and we are so grateful to the Tennessee Titans for including us in this worthy cause!



Animo City of Champions visit The Tree of South LA. For a Yoga Class



It was a sunny, fall afternoon when students from our Animo City of Champions JKL program took a mile jog from their campus to the Tree of South L.A. for a private yoga session.

It was the first time ever taking a yoga class for more than half of the students who attended. The Tree of South L.A. provides the perfect environment to elevate your yoga practice. The session was led by a great instructor, Amisha the Unicorn, who kept the students engaged, excited, and challenged by new and familiar movements.

The session included basic yoga movements with a current HipHop soundtrack. Once finished, students were energized and wanted more! We are grateful for our relationship with the Tree of South L.A. and look forward to bringing more JKL students soon!



JKL Students Learn About Healthy Snack Swaps



Pilates instructor Lauren Gold, who is currently studying to be a Registered Dietician, stopped by our JKL program at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles recently to help share her knowledge with our students.

She taught our teens about how to read nutrition labels and helped explain the difference between natural sugars and added sugars. She also presented some helpful ideas about healthy swaps for students’ favorite snacks, for example, Triscuits instead of Takis!

Students loved sampling the food she brought along, including Larabars and apples dipped in almond butter! We look forward to welcoming Lauren back soon!



Beller Nutrition Recipe of the Month

Chilled Black Bean Salsa

Rachel Beller MS, RDN

I absolutely love recipes that pack in heaping amounts nutritional value, and this salsa is one of them. And there’s no mistaking it for the typical side dish— it’s hearty and can stand alone as a main dish for dinner any night as it contains all the essentials of a meal…tons of veg, protein and a beneficial fat. The black beans not only provide 15g of protein per serving, but also pack in an impressive 15g of fiber as well! The tomatoes provide protective lycopene and the avocado is not only a healthy fat, but it contains 20 different vitamins and minerals plus a generous amount of fiber. Cilantro is another nutritional all-star providing and is a top pick when it comes to perking up foods with a little extra nutrition. It may aid in the body’s natural production of digestive enzymes − helping to speed up the breakdown of food and keeping your tummy calm and happy.

Makes: 4 servings

• 3 cups black beans, no salt added
• 2 scallions, sliced thinly
• 1 jalapeno, chopped
• 3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
• 2 avocados, sliced
• 2 large yellow bell peppers, chopped
• ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
• 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• Himalayan or sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.



Camila’s Tips



Sweet Potatoes with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Craisins

Looking for a yummy holiday side dish that will impress guests and isn’t too hard to make? Try you must try our recipe for these Sweet Potatoes With Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Craisins … It combines two of our all-time favorite holiday veggie sides: sweet potatoes + Brussels sprouts. It’s a really easy dish to make and takes only about 10 minutes to prep the entire thing (giving you more time to cook everything else!).

• 2 lbs frozen Brussels sprouts
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
• 2 large sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
• 1.5 tbsp real maple syrup
• 1/8 tsp cinnamon
• 1/3 cup craisins

View the Recipe on



Swag of the Month:

New Long Sleeve Tee

Just in time for those chilly days ahead!

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November 2019 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Taliyah, Landry Walker High SchoolNew Orleans


Landry Walker High School student, Taliyah is looking forward to taking full advantage of the jkl program during her senior year!

Over the years, Taliyah has had many first time experiences like canoeing, finding potato chip substitutes, increasing her water intake and being a positive role model. New comers to jkl look up to Taliyah for motivation and accountability. She is excited to be an upper classman who inspires her peers to workout and be healthy. “It has been a joy to witness Taliyah’s growth through the JKL Program. She is always confident in herself no matter what she is doing. She always has that I can do it attitude.” –Mr Donsereaux (jkl Instructor) After high school Taliyah would like attend University of Southern Mississippi to study criminal justice and become a police officer that protects her current neighborhood. We are looking forward to seeing Taliyah thrive this year and wish her the best!



A Fun Way to Lend Your Support



Looking for a new way to support just keep livin this holiday season? We’re happy to share that we are the charitable beneficiary of some amazing products these days!

One of our wonderful JKL supporters, Rachel Miriam, is a designer who pairs up with celebrities and brands to create curated, customizable collections that benefit different nonprofits. We are honored to be receiving a portion of the proceeds from two of her current collections: Christy Carlson Romano’s “Yummy Collection” featuring personalized aprons, chef hats, oven mitts & more, and “AnnieBenton X RM,” a collection of personalized table décor to help make your parties even more chic!

In addition to a charitable donation, we will be celebrating this partnership by throwing seasonal events at our Los Angeles JKL programs – one for each holiday! Visit to shop for a great cause! 


Joint JKL Field Trip: Group Dynamix



All five of our Dallas just keep livin programs participated in a group field trip to Group Dynamix!

This fun filled adventure was a great way to connect our students from Carter, Sunset, Eastern Hills, Sam Houston and Pinkston! The outing included guided activities that are geared to improve relationships, increase camaraderie, and encourage collaboration! The students had so much fun!



FIT TIP by JZ Fitness


The desire to move more decreases in the winter so here are some tips to move more:

1) Set an alarm every hour to get up and walk. It could be a 2 minute walk. This will get you to avoid sitting for long periods of time, thereby decreasing joint stiffness and lower back pain.

2) Consider getting a step tracker app on your phone. If you see it, you can change it. To be considered active, you need at least 10,000 steps a day

3) Find an accountability partner. Classes are great for this as the same folks tend to workout at the same time each day so if you commit to any particular class time and don’t show, people will wonder where you are. But if classes aren’t your deal, then consider telling a friend or fitness enthusiast to hold you accountable to a goal you set. Perhaps that goal is to workout 3 days a week. If you schedule it on your calendar, show up for it. You are the only one who can ultimately make it happen.

Dive into the holidays with the expectation to enjoy your family and friends but make sure you move, no matter how many holiday parties are on the calendar. Because motion is lotion to the joints and to the mind!

Beller Nutrition Recipe of the Month

Popcorn Combos

Rachel Beller MS, RDN

Popcorn can be enjoyed more places than just the ballpark and the movie theatre. It’s quick and easy, loaded with fiber, and is low in calories! Try out these different combos to pack in additional nutritional value, and see if you like it best sweet, spicy, or sprinkled with a bit of salt You can even sprinkle on some nutritional yeast which has a cheesy flavor and is packed with protein— just 2 tablespoons has 6 grams of plant based protein. These are just a few topping options and the possibilities are endless. Explore by going through your pantry and find some toppings you like best!

• Spray with olive or avocado oil spray (non-aerosol) + heavy shakes of nutritional yeast + pinch of sea salt
• Spray with olive or avocado oil spray (non-aerosol) + 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast + pinch of turmeric + pinch of paprika + pinch of sea salt
• Spray with olive or avocado oil spray (non-aerosol) + 1 tablespoon cacao powder + pinch of sea salt + pinch of cinnamon
Spray with olive or avocado oil spray (non-aerosol) + pinch of sea salt + pinch of cinnamon



Camila’s Tips


Camila’s Tips:

Looking for a dessert option this that isn’t too sweet or full of refined sugar? We’ve got just the recipe for you — These Cinnamon Baked Apples with Nuts + Coconut Sugar definitely satisfy any sweet tooth, and require such little prep work that you’ll be making them all holiday long (and beyond!)

• 4 organic apples
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
• 1/4 cup coconut sugar
• 2 tbsp organic butter
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 cup water

For the Recipe Click Here.


October 2019 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Chelsea, Hamilton High School, Los Angeles


Our Alum Chelsea has come full circle! She started her jkl journey 6 years ago at our jkl program at Hamilton High school in Los Angeles.

Chelsea recently graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in criminal justice. She is currently applying to Law schools around the country and is ready to lead the way for the jkl program at HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles) were she is the After School Programs coordinator. Chelsea is looking forward to bringing creative fitness activities, helping with self-esteem and encouraging the students to achieve their goals! While in college, Chelsea developed a passion for youth rights and wants to be a child advocate lawyer. She explained, “I want to bring equal and fair rights to the courtroom and be a voice for the youth.” We are so proud of Chelsea’s and excited to see her in action with the HOLA jkl program.



TKC and JKL Unite in Austin



On Sunday, September 22nd, all four of our Austin jkl programs partnered with the Kindness Campaign for a joint event at Akins High School!

Through our partnership with TKC, the students participated in 4 activations with a focus of using kindness as the central tool that centered on self-image, emotional awareness, empathy, and community. We are so grateful to the entire team at The Kindness Campaign for providing such a powerful and positive experience for our students!
For more information about The Kindness Campaign – visit



Carter Balloon Release



On September 11th, our jkl program at Carter High School in Dallas showed their gratitude for all the fallen victims of the 9/11 attacks with a balloon release during their gratitude circle.

They also paid respect to victims of the El Paso shooting while recognizing all the mass shootings that have been happening in our country. Each balloon that was released represented a color of awareness. The blue balloons represented the death of Police Officers and Firemen in the line of duty. During the release, students said prayers, spoke of unity within the jkl program and wished for a positive change in America.



Helping Our Students Succeed in the Game of Life



Our just keep livin students at North East High School in Austin were thrilled to receive a donation that will help them succeed not only on the playing field but in the game of life, as well!

One of our supporters, Lee Silber, an author and motivational speaker, was going to be participating in a conference in Austin and wanted to tie in a charitable component to his conference participation. He came up with the idea of sending “sports equipment with a message” to jkl teens.

He had the conference attendees write “life advice” and positive messages of encouragement and support on the football, basketballs and volleyballs. We were so touched by this creative and impactful donation!


Beller Nutrition Recipe of the Month

Fresh Tomato Tango

Rachel Beller MS, RDN

Like other fruits— yes fruits!— tomatoes are not only best when they are in season, but they are cheaper too! Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing an amazing 28% of the recommended daily amount. They also contain lycopene and beta carotene, two antioxidants known for their health benefits ranging from heart health to protection against the progression of certain types of cancers. The recipe can be prepared as the perfect side to any meal or eaten as a stand alone snack you can have on a warm, lazy day! Either way, tomatoes are a juicy, sweet addition to any day!

Makes: 2 servings

• 4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
• ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes and basil.
2. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over tomato basil mixture and add salt to taste.



Camila’s Tips



First, you bring a group of people together for a dinner. You can have a potluck, or take turns hosting. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate — Just a meal where you all sit down together and enjoy. Each dinner guest comes to the meal with two things: First, a donation. It can be any amount (whatever they are able to do). Second, each person comes with a donation destination in mind. It might be a neighbor down the street who is struggling to pay for child care, or someone they know who is going through medical treatment … It can be any situation that speaks to your heart!

As the dinner goes on, you all talk about who you think in your community could use a little extra help. At the end of the dinner, you all take a vote on where you think the money collected that night should go.

More Info on Women of Today »
Camila on IGTV Explaining the Dinners »



Swag of the Month:

Camo Sweatshirt and Camo Cap

Camo, it’s not just for hunters anymore! Checkout the website for new items, seasonal sales and closeout items

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September 2019 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Maggie, Animo Inglewood


Meet Maggie, our Animo Inglewood JKL Alum who is on her way to Harvard University in the Fall!

We are so proud to announce that Maggie was amongst the 4% of students accepted to Harvard this year! We are so happy for Maggie and all that she has achieved! Despite having hardships in her home life, Maggie prevailed with excellence through her school work and the JKL sessions for all four years during high school.

Maggie went from being a shy freshmen student looking for meaningful high school experiences to developing a passion for yoga, running 5k races and volunteering. Maggie is a natural leader and a great example of utilizing the JKL program to her benefit! This Fall, Maggie will be focusing on her general ed with an interest in obtaining an Engineering Degree from Harvard University.



Joining Forces for a Good Cause



just keep livin Foundation founder Matthew McConaughey was the guest of honor at the 34th annual U.S. Venture Open on August 14th.

The annual event raised $5.2 million to help end poverty in Northeast WI. After more than 900 golfers played at six golf courses, McConaughey had a VIP meet and greet and was interviewed by Scott Van Pelt at the dinner reception for more than 1,260 attendees.

All VIP attendees were gifted with a bottle of McConaughey’s Longbranch bourbon and he personally auctioned off autographed bottles to help raise funds for the event and the just keep livin foundation to empower high school students by providing them with the tools to lead active lives and make healthy choices.



The Kindness Campaign



We would like to extend a great big thank you to the Kindness Campaign for inviting some of our Austin jkl students out to join them for their I AM ENOUGH National PSA Premiere and for a special screening of the Lion King.

We are so excited to be partnering with the Kindness Campaign for a joint event with our Austin JKL programs coming up on September 22nd!

Here is the link to their website and here is a link to their video of the first Kind 5 event to learn more about the work they do! Thank you for providing this fun opportunity for our students to enjoy!



The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation



This past August our sponsor, The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation hosted their annual “Welcome Home Lunch” Event. Our Roosevelt JKL student Roshawnda had the chance to share her jkl journey and introduce our founder Matthew McCaunghey.






We are so proud of JKL student, JoNeisha, who spoke at Dak Prescott’s Faith Fight Finish Foundation Gala about her experiences in the program at David W. Carter High School. We are so grateful to the FFF Foundation for sponsoring this program!



Beller Nutrition Recipe of the Month

Balsamic Glazed Carrot & Green Bean Roast

Rachel Beller MS, RDN

Makes: 8 servings

• 8 medium carrots, sliced
• 1 pound green beans, ends removed (about 6-7 cups)
• 3 small garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2-3 tablespoons balsamic glaze
• Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, toss carrots, green beans, and garlic with the oil and then spread mixture out evenly on baking sheet.
3. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for another 4 to 5 minutes, remove from oven, let cool, and serve.



Camila’s Tips




This recipe is a little different than your average popsicles … First of all, it is coconut milk based, making the popsicles creamy and delicious. Second, it is gluten free, refined sugar free, nut free and vegan, making it almost allergy fool-proof for anyone! These popsicles are a better-for-you way to enjoy a summer favorite.

View Recipe »



Swag of the Month:

just keep livin Gray Can Coolers – A Tailgatin’ Necessity!

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August 2019 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Tim, East Austin College Prep Program


Recent just keep livin graduate, Timothy from our East Austin College Prep Program, is ready and headed to the Airforce! Before joining the jkl program, working out wasn’t something Timothy enjoyed. After participating in the jkl program for 4 straight years, he realized that the program was actually a driving force to make his dreams a reality.

Timothy completed his first half marathon, ran numerous 5k’s, started drinking more water, opened up during the gratitude circles and lost over 20 pounds. Timothy’s dedication to the jkl program helped shape his life, while keeping him motivated throughout his high school career. Program instructor, Jaqueline Vidal, explains, “Tim, attested that what truly got him through those rough nights was thinking about his family and the jkl program.

It was incredibly humbling that Timothy chose to come back only a few days after his graduation to join us for his last jkl session.” Timothy has dreamed of being a pilot since childhood and is taking all the necessary steps to make that dream come true. We are so proud of Timothy as he makes the strides to reach his goals!



Teacher Training 2019



On June 27th and June 28th, we hosted 80 of our just keep livin instructors who participated in another successful Teacher Training.

The event kicked off with a kayaking outing in Marina Del Rey, followed by a Happy Hour which allowed for instructors to mingle, see fellow veteran instructors, as well as to meet our new jkl instructors.

The Happy Hour consisted of fun games such as Jenga, Corn Hole and Connect 4. After a night of fun, the teachers were ready for full training the next day. This year’s theme of “A Well-Oiled Machine” provided the platform for all 36 of our programs to come together to share best practices, discuss programming, curriculum, and most importantly get re-energized for the 2019-2020 school year.

We added a component of discussing the work we have been doing with regards to our students’ Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and were able to share some of the data results from our post surveys. We took time to honor the loving memory of Rebecca Pfleger, a longtime JKL teacher from Dallas who passed away suddenly in January. We invited Rebecca’s brother and cousin out to the training to share a few words about Rebecca. It also gave us a chance to let her family know how much we appreciated the 8 years of loving care that she provided the Sam Houston jkl program.

We continue to hold Rebecca’s memory and her family close to our hearts.



Field Trip to Broad Museum



This summer, jkl students and staff from Animo Inglewood High School in Los Angeles had the chance to experience the world famous museum, “The Broad”.

Our dear friend of the Foundation, Cece Karz, who is an art historian and collector of contemporary art led an amazing tour for our jkl students. Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 was a definite highlight. Students learned about so many African American artists like Romare Bearden, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, William T. Williams and many more who used minimalism and abstraction techniques.

The students also enjoyed the mind altering experience of Yayoi Kusama’s infinity mirror and Jeff Koon’s huge Balloon Dog.



JKL Interns



Recently it was National Intern Day, so we want to give a shout out to our fabulous just keep livin interns for all their hard work this summer!

Lucy (left) will be a Senior at Marymount High School in the upcoming school year, and Heidi (right) will be a Junior at Animo Ralph Bunche.

Lucy loves playing tennis to stay active and fit. Heidi plays basketball and is excited to try out for her school team in the upcoming school year. We are so proud of these two and can’t wait to see what the future holds for these bright and determined young ladies!



Beller Nutrition Recipe of the Month

Fiber-Boosted Sweet Potato To Go
Rachel Beller MS, RDN

This recipe is quick, satisfying and affordable. You can prepare 3-4 sweet potatoes at a time, and have them for breakfast over the course of a week or simply enjoy one as a pre-workout snack as it offers so much of the essentials needed. Not to mention, it packs in an amazing 11 grams of fiber, which can set you up nicely to reach your daily fiber goals.

Makes: 1 sweet potato with toppings

• 1 sweet potato, washed
• 1 tablespoon chia seeds
• 1-2 teaspoons almond or nut butter of choice (optional)
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.



Camila’s Tips


A great + healthy way to start your day! This recipe is healthy, nutritious, easy to make, and can be done in just a few minutes! It also has a great presentation factor, and would make a beautiful addition to any breakfast table.

View Recipe »



Swag of the Month:

New… Grab a Seat!

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July 2019 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Lesly, Sam Houston High School


Lesly is a track athlete, fearless leader, and the Vice President of her sophomore class. These are just a few of the accomplishments of our jkl student at Sam Houston. After needing to step away from track due to bone stress and shin splints, Lesly has shifted her focus to the jkl program.

Since then, she has become a very influential member. She has helped in the recruiting process, led exercises and her energy is contagious, which keeps the other students smiling! Opening up in the gratitude circles and having a supportive staff has led Lesly to always check in with family and ensure she can do her part to make the world a better place.

After high school, Lesly would like to study international business and create an organization that helps orphans address their emotional and financial needs!


JKL Beach Day



just keep livin students had a blast at our Annual Beach Day in Los Angeles.

We had over 80 students attend, and thanks to the amazing Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, our students had the opportunity to learn how to surf! The day consisted of five different stations, each representing one of the core components of the JKL curriculum: Beach Clean-Up, Nutrition, Sand Castle Building, Surfing and Yoga.

We are so grateful to all of those who participated including The Curry Girls, Grades of Green, Los Angeles County Lifeguards, Shelley Williams/Yoga Mittra, Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital Center, Camp Surf and Jersey Mikes. Thank you all for helping us make this day a huge success!


Veronica Beard Shopping Experience



We would like to thank Veronica Beard for their continued partnership and support of our jkl programs. On Saturday, June 22nd, Mia Diaz and Jaelynne Johnson, both from our Animo Inglewood jkl program, enjoyed a magical experience at the Veronica Beard store on Melrose.

When Veronica and Veronica came out to be guest speakers at Animo Inglewood back in April, they generously donated a shopping experience for one lucky jkl student and a friend! The girls were outfitted in clothes supplied by VB. In addition to the clothes, each girl received a bag full of beauty products such as sunscreen, lip gloss, moisturizer and more supplied by Beauty Counter! The girls had an amazing day and we are so grateful to both Veronica Beard and Beauty Counter for providing such a memorable experience!



JKL program was positively impacted my life by helping me to lose weight, have more energy and focus on fitness. – Keila

JKL program was positively impacted my life by helping me to stay healthier by giving me tips on nutrition and diet. – Marquis

JKL program was positively impacted my life by causing me to be more social in my everyday life and at work. It also helps me to be more confident in my abilities. – Shania Pena



Beller Nutrition Recipe of the Month

Spiced Overnight Oats
Rachel Beller MS, RDN


Oats are well known as an excellent source of soluble dietary fiber. The oats in this recipe provide 4 grams of fiber, but let’s not stop there! The chia seeds with 5g of fiber and the berries with ~4g fiber, bring your breakfast fiber total to a whopping 13g of fiber! The fact that you prepare this oatmeal at night, makes this a great option when you are short on time in the morning! Suggestion: double it so you have breakfast for another day.

Makes: 1 serving

• 1 cup plant milk, unsweetened
• ½ cup rolled oats
• 1 tbsp chia seeds
• ½ cup berries (fresh or frozen)
• ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions: Stir all ingredients in a jar or any container, seal and refrigerate overnight. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.



Swag of the Month:

Patriot Cap


Red, White and Blue for YOU! A portion of the proceeds from your online store purchase goes directly to the just keep livin foundation. We appreciate YOU and YOUR support.

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June 2019 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Jacquelyn, Chavez H.S.


Meet Jacquelyn, our lovely, energetic Senior at Chavez H.S in Houston, who has a passion for the arts and helping people! Before joining the jkl program, Jacquelyn struggled with having a short temper, and as a result, had a hard time maintaining friendships. During the jkl gratitude circles, Jacquelyn had the opportunity to listen to her peers share their personal stories, struggles and celebrations! This eventually helped Jacquelyn with her friendships as she began to open up and share more, which also led to her being more grateful. Since her first semester in the jkl program, Jacquelyn consistently has a smile on her face, lost 25 pounds, and has developed new friendships and through her jkl family.

“Having Instructors like Ms. Giles and Ms. Salvador who tell me to never give up and share my gifts, has been extremely helpful”. Jacquelyn is a passionate graphic designer, make-up artist and painter, who just sold her first painting for $2,000 earlier this year! She volunteers her time to provide make-up sessions for the Gay Straight Alliance Club on campus. Jacquelyn is a bubbly, creative student and we are so proud of her! We wish her luck in pursuing a graphic design and engineering degree after high school!



Veronica Beard Store Opening



We were honored to be the charitable beneficiary of the Veronica Beard store opening in the Palisades Village complex in Los Angeles.

The women’s fashion brand, co-founded by sisters-in-law Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard, has generously supported JKL in the past as the featured designers of our Mack, Jack & McConaughey fashion show and through their “Veronica Beard Gives Back” program.

On their recent visit to L.A., the two women took the time to visit the JKL program at Animo Inglewood High School, speaking to the students about setting goals and building a business. “These kids are so smart and inquisitive. They asked such great questions. We have families that are so supportive, but there are so many kids that don’t and Matthew and Camila have given them a path and a place to go,” said Miele Beard.

The designers even invited one of our members, a Senior named Maggie who is going to Harvard in the Fall, to speak at the store launch event. Maggie did such a great job sharing her story with all of the guests and having her there with us helped bring the partnership full circle.

We are looking forward to collaborating with Veronica Beard again in the future! To read more about this partnership from our very own Camila McConaughey check out her interview with the Hollywood Reporter here


JKL Field Day 2019



On Wednesday, May 8th, 80 of our Los Angeles just keep livin students participated in Field Day at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles! The event kicked off with Kristi Castlin as our guest speaker and she used this opportunity to speak with the students to inspire them by sharing her love for running and her passion to compete.

Kristi won the bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio in the 100 M hurdles! Kristi told the kids, “Running really relaxes me and gives me a controlled way to channel my love for new challenges and desire to be great at everything in life I do. It also teaches me how to face and deal with the ups and downs of what often blindsides you sometimes in this thing we call life. Learn, unlearn, relearn…. I’ve decided to really implement this idea within my life. Working out, setting goals, having setbacks, all of those things have taught me how to just be more understanding about how life works.”

After our guest speaker, the students transitioned into a rotation of activities that included a boot camp style work out by Brendan Cosso, CEO of the World Calisthenics Organization, relay races, a balloon toss and the Los Angeles Chargers ran a football challenge where students were able to win prizes donated by the Chargers. It was a fun filled afternoon full of smiles, friendly competition and lots of fun! A great big thank you to Kristi Castlin, the Chargers, Brendan Cosso and everyone who helped make this a successful event for the kids!



Board Member and Chief Innovative Officer at CAA, Michelle Kydd Lee, speaks to our students at Venice High School about leaving her small town for her big dreams!

Board Member and Founder and Co-CEO of LourdMurray, Blaine Lourd, speaks to our students at Animo Inglewood Charter High School and gives them tips for a successful future!

Tony Everett, Founder of Pure Games, an organization that helps children develop character through experiential learning, speaks to our students at Fremont High school!



Camila Tip: Cookie Dough Energy Bites



Camila is always looking for better-for-you snacks, and these Cookie Dough Energy Bites don’t disappoint!!

Featuring just the right amount of healthy protein and sweetness (who else loves chia seeds and peanut butter?), these crowd-pleasers will get you through long days when hunger strikes between meals! Plus, they are packed full of organic, simple and filling ingredients. They are perfect to grab as a breakfast on-the-go, to keep in your bag as a snack, and will help satisfy those sweet tooth cravings without the guilt! Click here for the recipe. or click here to view Camila’s Video Recipe.


Beller Nutrition Recipe of the Month

Fiesta Ranchero Scramble
Rachel Beller MS, RDN


Spice up your breakfast with this nutrient filled breakfast scramble. It’s packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and tons of flavor. It’s super quick and easy and only takes about 15 min. to prep and cook. You could prepare the chopped ingredients beforehand and store in the refrigerator the night before to save time in the morning. Feel free to double the recipe and keep leftovers for an afterschool snack or light dinner.

Makes: 2 servings

• 2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
• 1 clove garlic
• ½ medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
• ½ medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
• 2 organic whole egg
• 2 egg whites
• ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 cup cooked black beans, no salt added
• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
• ¼ cup fresh salsa, homemade or store bought
• ½ medium tomato, chopped



Swag of the Month:

Patriot Cap


Get ready to celebrate Independence Day with this 940 Patriot Cap!

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May 2019 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Roshawnda Gongs, Roosevelt


In the past, Roshawda was a shy individual who struggled with low self-esteem due to being picked on at school but now she is more vibrant than ever. New friendships, Community service trips to local nursing homes, opening up during the gratitude circle and hearing guest speakers from Action in Africa and Howard speak are a few highlights that have had huge impacts on her.

“Roshawnda, is the epitome of student excellence, she is what most students inspire to be as both student and scholar. She constantly reminds me of why we do the work we do”- Mr Moore. Roshawnda’s level of dedication is unmatched as she is actively playing school sports each semester and stills finds time to embrace the jkl program. She frequently brings new students to join also.

After her high school chapter is done, Roshawnda is looking forward to studying business management and hope to opening up her own hair salon in her community. We know Roshawnda will be an amazing adult and we look forward to witnessing her growth.



Gratitude Quote of the Month

"I am thankful for having a great team and coaching staff who has helped me get better in my races and competitions."

— Crystal, Sophompore



Mack, Jack & McConaughey 2019 – That’s a Wrap!



The just keep livin Foundation team just got back from several days in Austin, TX for our annual “Mack, Jack & McConaughey” (MJ&M) fundraiser.

This is our 7th year partnering with University of Texas coaching legend Mack Brown and recording artist Jack Ingram on this joint fundraising effort to help empower kids throughout Austin and beyond.
The festivities consisted of several fun-filled events including a golf tournament, a Monique Lhuillier fashion show hosted by Camila, and two nights of live music featuring performances by Chris Stapleton, Holly Williams, Wade Bowen and many more – including our very own Mr. McConaughey on the bongos!

MJ&M enjoyed hosting more than 5,000 guests for two days of the best in music, golf and fashion while raising record-breaking funds for the charity beneficiaries.  


An Inspiring Visit From Icelandic Glacial



Drinking lots of water is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and our partners at Icelandic Glacial – “the purest tasting water on Earth” – make it a lot easier to keep our JKL students hydrated!

The company has generously donated water to our programs nationwide for the past few years, and our JKL students at Huntington Park High School in Los Angeles were thrilled to welcome their CEO, Reza Mirza, as a Guest Speaker. Reza spoke to the students about growing up in India and how he got to where he is today.

He shared a lot of insight and advice such as when he admitted that “there were a lot of people smarter than me, but none that out-worked me.” He also encouraged students to surround themselves with people who are optimistic, driven and who push you to be more. Reza even offered to personally help students with interview skills! We are so grateful for this partnership and were honored to hear from Reza and his team.



Manual Arts Guest Speaker



Guest Speaker Michelle Hammerman, former owner of Bare Bones (a clothing company), has a mission was to reduce chemical pollution waste through up cycling and the use of fruits and vegetables as natural dyes.

Michelle brought a colorful interactive presentation to our Manual Arts jkl students. Michelle spoke on the importance of up cycling, the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, and unwanted products into new materials. Our jkl Students had a chance to create their own naturally died tie dye shirts using Avocado pits (brown color), Madder Root (orange color) and Log wood (purple). The process to get these colors was similar to making a big pot of tea, but with a lot more patience.

This was such an eye opening experience and new creative way for staff and students to make their own clothing. We are greatly appreciative Michelle Hammerman for taking to the time to share and demonstrate such wonderful knowledge with our Manual Arts jkl students and staff.






Thirty of our jkl students and instructors from our Austin jkl programs at EAC Prep and Akins enjoyed a fun filled weekend camping trip to Guadalupe State Park.

While there, students learned fire building, how to pitch a tent, outdoor cooking as well as important items to remember when enjoying the great outdoors like leaving no trace principles behind in the campsites or on the trails. Throughout the weekend, activities included, Geocaching, hiking, team building activities, swimming, fishing, star gazing and even some morning yoga! For some of our students, this was their first time camping and for all, it was a weekend to remember!



Beller Nutrition Recipe of the Month

Mango Berry-Go-Round
Rachel Beller MS, RDN



Imagine breakfast in a tropical paradise, and this breakfast smoothie bowl comes pretty close! (Beach sold separately.) With its bright boost of vitamin C, it’s actually as sweet for your body as it is for your taste buds. Also, mangos may contribute to glowing skin, a healthy digestive system, and help to keep your brain sharp during school. This is an easy and on-the-go meal that can be made in less than 3 minutes. You can also make this as a refreshing dessert for warm, sunny days.

Makes: 1 serving

• 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
• ¼ avocado
• 1 cup mango, frozen

• ½ cup strawberries, frozen
• ½ cup raspberries, frozen
• 1 tablespoon protein powder
• 1 teaspoon chia seeds

Toppings: (optional)
• 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
• 1 teaspoon unsweetened coconut flakes

1. Put all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Add toppings (if using).



Swag of the Month:

Mechanic Shirt: “Workin for a livin”


Check out the JKL “Workin for a Livin” Mechanic Shirt worn by Matthew McConaughey himself in Carpool Karaoke with Snoop Dogg! Don’t miss out, get yours now!

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April 2019 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Niya, John Adams High School


“Upbeat,” “curious” and “motivational” are just a few words that describe Niya, a Senior at John Adams High School in Cleveland, OH who is blossoming in the JKL program!

During her sophomore and junior year, she heard about the JKL program but never had the time to stay after school. For her senior year, though, she made it a goal to be more intentional and decided to finally join the JKL program despite the fact she works 4 days a week and has a packed schedule.

This past Fall semester has exposed Niya to so many first time experiences: the Breast Cancer 5k, Cavaliers games, yoga lessons and exploring the sights outside of her neighborhood. She now regularly implements and shares with her mother the many tips and recipes she gets from the JKL monthly nutrition component.

“Niya is hardworking and has a tremendous amount of integrity. She is one of our JKL leaders and has truly begun to shape the program here at John Adams,” said JKL instructor, Ms. Ware Rembert.

After high school, Niya would like to study the field of criminal justice and become a homicide detective. We wish nothing but greatest for Niya for this spring semester and for whatever the future holds!



Gratitude Quote of the Month

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

— Emmanuel, Fremont High School, Los Angeles



Matthew McConaughey Joins just keep livin Students on the Field!



Earlier this month, students in our Dallas-area just keep livin Foundation programs got to experience a special treat, thanks to our longtime partners at the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and JKL Founder, Matthew McConaughey.

Teens from Rangers-funded JKL programs at Eastern Hills High School, L.G. Pinkston High School and Sam Houston High School met up at the Rangers’ MLB Youth Academy for a raucous game of Wiffle ball and some one-on-one time with McConaughey.

He spoke to the students about JKL’s monthly quote for March – “Respect and trust yourself” – and also passed along some heartfelt condolences about JKL teacher, Rebecca Pfleger, who had suddenly passed away in January. To read more about this special afternoon, click here.



Lakers Youth Foundation Basketball Clinic



On Saturday, March 9th, our just keep livin program at Huntington Park attended a basketball clinic hosted by the Lakers Youth Foundation!

It was all smiles as the students participated in agility and endurance drills, strength training exercises, and listened to a presentation on the importance of proper nutrition, hydration and how to prevent injuries. Of course, the last portion of the clinic focused on basketball drills which was a big hit! The students had an amazing time and we are so grateful to the Lakers Youth Foundation for hosting another fun filled event!

Click here to sponsor a JKL field trip »



Los Angeles Rams Mental Health Clinician Inspires JKL Students



JKL students at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles were thrilled to welcome Dr. Carrie Hastings as a Guest Speaker.

Dr. Hastings, who is a licensed Clinical and Sport Psychologist and is the Mental Health Clinician for the LA Rams, shared a motivational presentation about “Grit and Courage” while touching upon her own personal journey from being a high school and college track star to finding her way to her current career.

The kids were riveted and very curious about her job, as many of them didn’t even know that such a career existed. And of course, we had lots of Rams fans in the house so they were very impressed that she gets to talk to the players on a regular basis!

Click here if you are interested in being a Guest Speaker »



Field Trip with the Houston Dynamo



JKL students from Chavez High School in Houston were thrilled to attend an “International Women’s Day” event put on by the Houston Dynamo, the city’s MLS team, at their stadium headquarters.

Our Chavez students are all big fans of their local soccer team and were looking forward to this event, but little did they know that they would be given the full VIP treatment from arrival to departure! They were welcomed with open arms before being given a tour of the entire facility, including the field, locker rooms, press room and play-by-play booth.

After the tour, our JKL students listened to a panel discussion filled with accomplished women who work for the Houston Dynamo Organization: Tiffani Whittington (Sr. Director, Fan Relations), Pierina Inciarte (Video Services Coordinator), Martha Carvejal (Premium Service manager), Veronica Latsjo (Profession Player, Houston Dash) and even a former Chavez Alum, Liliana Cardenas (Academy Administration). The panelists spoke to students about their college experiences and their journeys into their career paths, along with providing real-world examples of how to prevail in the face of a letdown.

The students really appreciated these ladies’ transparent responses to their questions and were so grateful to receive Houston Dynamo swag bags and game tickets!

Click here to sponsor a JKL field trip »



Get Your Tickets for Austin’s Biggest Party!



Don’t miss your chance to join us in Austin for our annual fundraiser, Mack, Jack & McConaughey taking place at the Austin City Limits (ACL) Moody Theater in Austin, TX on Friday, April 25th.

Tickets for the “Jack & Friends” concert featuring Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriters go on sale THIS FRIDAY, April 5th at 10:00 am Central Time via Ticketmaster It is a very special evening hosted by Matthew McConaughey, Mack Brown and Jack Ingram and featuring performances by renowned artists including Jessi Alexander & Jon Randall, Holly Williams, Butch Walker – and many more!

Get your tickets soon and read more about the event here.

Purchase Tickets »



Camila’s Tip: Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs!



Instead of using regular old food dye to make your Easter eggs this year, Camila has a few much more creative options! Camila stopped by the Rachel Ray Show and showed her how easy it is to do at home using fruits and veggies! For the video and easy instructions click here.

Find out how »



Beller Nutrition Recipe of the Month

Basic Roasted Vegetables
Rachel Beller MS, RDN



Tired of hearing about the veg and how good they are for you? Think veg is the most boring topic there is? Well,I would not be jumping to conclusions just yet! Did you know that the Spanish love not only to eat tomatoes but also throw them…at each other?! Yes, there is a famous Spanish festival – La Tomatina- where people throw about 150,000 tomatoes at each other. Nothing boring about that! I’m not encouraging you to throw a salad at your friends next time you see them (although that would be super fun, right?!), I mean start thinking about veg as these superheroes that can protect your body from almost any disease if you only let them! So, have fun and veg out!

My basic recipe is great to have on hand and the roasting technique brings out the natural sweet flavors of the vegetables and they’re so easy to prepare!  In fact, I make some version of this as least once a week with any vegetables I may have at home (my favorites: carrots, green beans and zucchini). You can keep it simple with salt and pepper, or add some garlic, turmeric or Italian seasoning.

8 cups seasonal vegetables
2 tablespoons olive oil Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Clean and cut vegetables to desired shape around the same size.
3. Toss vegetables in the olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh herbs (and any other spices you wish… the more the merrier).
4. Place vegetables on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 25-35 minutes, shaking the pan at least twice during the roasting time. Roast until the veggies are tender and nicely roasted.



Swag of the Month


Inspired by one of the just keep livin foundation teachers, Mr. Thomas! We hope this tee shirt will inspire you to live consciously. Whether it’s an environmental effort, community project or self reflection, we all need to take time to give back and make each day count.

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