Student Spotlight: Kamari, Ballou H.S | Washington D.C.
Remote learning has created a barrier for student participation in many classrooms and programs around the world. Luckily, we have been able to pivot and reach some resilient students who are eager to log back on to the computer after countless school day zoom meetings. Kamari, from our Ballou JKL program, is one of those students!
Since we have launched online programming this Fall, Kamari has had 100% participation. Sessions with Officer Ryan Tillman, Vote.org, Monthly Calisthenics workouts and a high energy interview with WWE superstar R-Truth were some of his favorite JKL sessions so far. During Covid, Kamari has missed being in person for JKL programming and band practice, but that didn’t stop him from getting creative.
Kamari started cooking healthier meals, participating in weekly drum pad practice sessions with friends via zoom and recently got inspired to start jogging with his mother after hearing about our JKL Fall Virtual 5k. Kamari is dedicated to keeping up his school work and JKL sessions for the year and is looking forward to laughing and having fun with friends soon! Once things settle, Kamari would like to take a trip to North Carolina to see his family. We appreciate Kamari’s engagement level and dedication to the JKL program and look forward to seeing him in person in the near future.
Wishing a very Happy Birthday to our inspiring founder, Matthew McConaughey.
Make sure to grab your copy of his #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today best seller, Greenlights!
WWE Superstar R-TRUTH Shares His Truth with JKL Students
just keep livin students and staff tuned in for a very special virtual visit from famed WWE Superstar, R-Truth.
Having been wrestling for over 20 years, R-Truth really opened up to JKL students, sharing his personal story – from his humble beginnings heading down a dangerous path that included jail time for selling drugs, to finding enduring success as a wrestler at the WWE, where he is the current 24/7 Champion in his record 42nd reign.
We had over 100 students and staff join the conversation, some of them even proudly showing off their own R-Truth action figures! They were treated to countless words of wisdom, such as “I had to be my own cheerleader,” “we can move mountains as individuals,” and “your voice is the most important thing you have.” From being a devoted father, to rapping, to his surprising hobby of flying kites, R-Truth seems to do it all.
He emphasized the importance of voting, gave students advice on how to pursue their dreams, and credited his faith and belief in himself for his longevity. When asked about the importance of setting goals, he said “Setting goals gives you ambition. It’s like the dynamite stick you light. You have to plan something before you can execute.” We want to sincerely thank R-Truth, as well as the WWE who sponsors our JKL program at Learning Works Charter, for giving our students this terrific opportunity!
The Kevin Love Fund Donates Masks to jkl Students in Partnership With “Cover or Covid”
The Kevin Love Fund, through their community partner organization, Cover or Covid, generously provided 2500 masks to just keep livin students in Cleveland to help keep them safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
We were thrilled to receive these high-quality, comfortable masks to distribute to our students at John Adams and Glenville high schools along with their families. Our John Adams students in particular found that these masks came in handy when they volunteered their time packaging Halloween treat bags to distribute to children in need at the Earl B. Turner Community Center.
We love the circle of giving that this mask donation was able to facilitate! The Kevin Love Fund, which generously sponsors one of our just keep livin afterschool programs in Cleveland, has a mission to inspire people to live their healthiest lives while providing the tools to achieve physical and emotional well-being. They recently partnered with the local nonprofit, Cover of Covid, which works to ensure the availability of excellent quality, reusable cloth masks to those in need. We’re so grateful to have been selected as the beneficiary of this mask donation and we look forward to continuing to work with both organizations in the future!
Ryan Tillman | Breaking Barriers United
We wanted to highlight one of our recent just keep livin guest speakers, Police Officer, Ryan Tillman @breaking_barriers_united!
Ryan is such an incredible motivational speaker and he inspired hope through his messaging that despite his own mindset about the police as a child, he now speaks out against police brutality and is actively helping to change and improve the system. His acknowledgment of imperfection and humility being the first steps to success really resonated with our students.
Ryan also touched base on Matthew’s monthly quote for October, “Don’t Leave Crumbs.” As Ryan grew up in life, he shared how he had several opportunities early on to be a leader yet despite those opportunities, he still made mistakes. He chose to learn from those mistakes because making the same mistake twice is what we call “crumbs.” Those are crumbs that you will leave behind and what starts to develop is a pattern. A pattern of your character which will go before you as you get older and you will be judged by your character! Through sharing his own personal story of adversity, he encouraged our youth to use the adversity they face in their own daily lives to make change for the better later in their life.
Camila’s Tips: Cinnamon Baked Apples with Nuts + Coconut Sugar
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!)
All you’ll need are some great quality organic apples (we used red, but you can also use Granny Smith), chopped walnuts or pecans, coconut sugar, organic butter, cinnamon and water. Throw them in the oven for 40-45 minutes and you’re all set! Be sure to serve quickly after cooling so your apples stay nice and plump!
• 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
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a paring knife or apple corer, remove the stem and seeds from the apples, making a deep hole where the filling will go.
2. Combine the coconut sugar, butter and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix well to combine. Add the nuts. Spoon the mixture evenly into each of the apples.
3. Add 1/4 cup of water to a baking dish and place apples on top.
4. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Spoon the sauce drippings from the pan over the apples.
Swag of the Month: Bumper Stickers!
Bumper Stickers for Your Car! …Because your ride should look as cool as you do!