October 2021 Newsletter

Join Us in the All Out Mile Challenge

We have an opportunity to win $25,000 for JKL while simultaneously strengthening our programs – AND WE NEED YOUR HELP!

RAW Running, a local running group in Austin, TX and The Austin Marathon are a part of a challenge that Under Armour is putting on called the All Out Mile.

The gist of the challenge is simple: between October 1st and October 11th we need you to run an all-out mile and push yourself to your limit! The ‘team’ with the most runners to complete the challenge will win $15,000 from Under Armour and the Austin Marathon’s Austin Gives Miles program is generously adding $10,000 to the mix for a total of $25,000 prize money!

Just last year RAW and the Austin Marathon won us $20,000 – and they are currently in the lead. This year we want to get our volunteers, parents, and students involved with just one simple ask – run ONE mile. It doesn’t matter if you break 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or if this is your first ever mile! If you’re able, please get outside and enjoy the perfect fall weather wherever you are and help us, help JKL!

To sign up, follow the following steps (it only takes 5 minutes!):

1. Head to www.uaalloutmile.com
2. Join the ‘RAW + Austin Marathon’ team
3. When you sign up on FitRankings, you need to connect your ‘MapMyRun’ app. If you don’t have one, download or sign up at www.mapmyrun.com
4. Run 1 mile, to the best of your ability, between October 1st – October 11th.

That’s it! Thank you so much for your help and support!

If you need any assistance, please contact [email protected]

JKL Board Comes Together to Discuss Recalibration

We enjoyed getting together (virtually) with our just keep livin Foundation Board of Directors and Advisory Board to recap our 2021 programming and brainstorm for how to impact even more students in 2022.

Our theme for this year’s meeting was “Recalibration,” as we are excited to finally get back to in-person programming after 18 months of remote sessions. We have expanded our reach more than ever – 40 programs in 14 cities – and this kind of growth wouldn’t 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. We also want to thank Mrs. Christy Saldivar (pictured above), who runs the JKL program at Cesar Chavez High School in Houston, for the heartfelt speech she gave at the meeting.

She is adored by her students and we love how, under her leadership, the Chavez program has kept finding new ways to innovative during the pandemic. It was a productive annual meeting, and our staff left reinvigorated to help our students learn vital life skills and live healthier lives!

JKL Co-Founders Camila and Matthew McConaughey Give Back on 9/11

It was an honor for our Co-Founders, Camila and Matthew McConaughey, to participate in the Cantor Fitzgerald/BGC Partners 9/11 Charity Day for the fourth consecutive year.

Every year, Cantor Fitzgerald and their affiliates, BGC Partners and GFI Group, commemorate their 658 friends and colleagues and 61 Eurobrokers employees who perished on September 11, 2001 by distributing 100% of their global revenues on Charity Day to nonprofit organizations through their Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund.

Matthew and Camila love supporting this worth cause and they enjoyed the opportunity to visit virtually with CF clients and staff. We’re grateful to Cantor Fitzgerald for their ongoing support not only of family members of the victims of 9/11, but to dozens of charities all around the world including ours. Their generosity will allow us to serve even more young people throughout the country through our afterschool fitness and wellness programs.

Volunteer Day at Nissan Stadium:

On Sunday, September 26th, our Maplewood JKL program volunteered for the Tennessee Titans organization by passing out the Game Day Giveaway flags to the first 30,000 attendees!

Our students were met with lots of smiles and felt electrified by the enthusiasm of the fans! The Titans came away with a win that Sunday and thanks to our JKL volunteers, fans now are waving their Titans flags proudly. Our students love the opportunity to give back to their surrounding communities.

Program Spotlight: Animo South Los Angeles

Fall semester has officially started and we’re so excited that our just keep livin programs are back in action.

There’s nothing like seeing the smiles and sweat on our student’s faces in person. Our South Los Angeles JKL Program is kicking off their sixth year and are already off to a great start! Our instructors, Justine and Joanne, put together a safe and creative program plan each week that keeps the students coming back. “This year we can’t wait to start getting our field trips and community service going, especially since that was a component of JKL that was hard to execute online.

The students have already been so excited to work out, cook and talk about what they are grateful for” –ASLA JKL Instructors. The excitement and dedication we are already witnessing with our programs across the country is a sign that this will be a great year!

Camila’s Tips: Camila’s Quick Asian Coleslaw

We’ve all been there: You need to make a quick and healthy lunch but have no time.

Today, Camila is showing us her go-to easy Quick Asian Coleslaw — All using easy ingredients and pre-made items you can pick up at your local H-E-B store.

• 1 package of H-E-B Power Slaw
• 1 package H-E-B Organic Basil
• H-E-B Rotisserie Chicken Salad (prepared foods)
• H-E-B Meal Simple Kale Cranberry Salad (prepared foods)

• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
• 1 lime, juiced
• small pinch of salt (optional)
• fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Combine all ingredients and whisk or put in a jar and shake.

1. Combine all salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add the H-E-B Power Slaw to the bowl and combine well. Let mixture sit in dressing for 10-15 minutes to help break down the slaw.
2. Begin making your individual bowls by adding a layer of the slaw, then add Meal Simple Kale Cranberry Salad on top of the slaw and top with a dollop of the H-E-B Rotisserie Chicken Salad.

Enjoy! Beijos Camila

Full recipe by Women of Today »

JKL Swag of the Month:

Alright Americana

Check out the Alright Americana T-shit and try sportin’ this stylish, light blue tee shirt with the iconic alright alright alright!

Get Yours Today!  

July 2021 Newsletter

JKL Annual Teacher Training

In June, we hosted our Annual National Teacher Training! Although we were sad that we couldn’t see everyone in person again this year, it was so great to see all of the familiar faces virtually and welcome our new JKL instructors to the program!

The training was held via zoom with all of 41 programs present! Our theme this year was Recalibration, and after a year and a half of virtual JKL programming, all of our instructors agreed that they are thrilled to run in person programming again. We welcomed some new JKL programs at KIPP Nashville, Phoenix STEM Academy and IDEA charter school.

The event kicked off with a great stretching, breathing and meditation session led by Breathe, Rise + Thrive. We had dialogue about program struggles, celebrations and upcoming school year goals. We participated in a powerful writing workshop with our partners at the Kevin Love Fund. Our regional break out groups allowed staff to collaborate, share best practices, plan community service events, regional events, and spotlight students from this past year. We ended our training with a very special gratitude circle where many expressed appreciations for the JKL program, family, students and the overall sense of community that JKL provides. We are looking forward to all of our programs getting back to action this Fall and enhancing their JKL presence on campus!

Huge Thank You to Dell Technologies!

We are beyond grateful to Dell Technologies for their generosity and continued support of the just keep livin program by donating devices for our JKL students in Texas!

Our organizations would not be possible without the support of incredible partnerships like this as we continue to empower students, put an end to the digital divide, and make a positive impact on the students that we serve.

JKL Instructor Spotlight

As the 2021 school year comes to an end, we are saying “goodbye for now” to our Morse H.S. instructor, Winnona Dancy.

After 18 years of teaching home economics, food nutrition and 3 years with JKL she has retired from the classroom. Ms. Dancy brought great energy, empathy and skill building to the program. “I truly believe I was put on this earth to help kids become creative and independent.” – Ms Dancy. There were so many first time experiences she was able to witness within the JKL program.

Students had the chance to cook healthy dishes from scratch, run live races, attend fitness expos and hear from great guest speakers. We can only imagine how hard it is to retire from a career that was so fulfilling. Ms. Dancy is determined to stay involved with children during her retirement. She is looking forward to launching her etiquette business that will continue to help many students develop leadership skills and get prepared for life after high school. Ms. Dancy’s infectious smile and awesome cooking demos will be missed, we wish her nothing but the best in the next chapter of her life.

What Are You Grateful For?

“I’m grateful for my friends and family because they help me get through my lowest times in life.”

– Jariah, JKL Student

“I’m thankful for my JKL family and coaches for all of the life lessons they teach me that help me to grow”

– Rufus, JKL Student

“I am grateful for the opportunity to be back in person with my students.”

– Coach Nasara, JKL Instructor

Camila’s Tips: Savory Watermelon Salad

Here’s a different twist on a watermelon salad that is both savory and sweet!

When it comes to the flavors in this recipe, it’s the touch of the red onion and all the fresh herbs that take this watermelon salad to a whole new level. Make sure you don’t substitute with dried herbs so you can really get the incredible flavor! This salad is also gluten free, nut free and vegan optional (just leave out the cheese or substitute with a vegan feta alternative).

1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves, chopped
2 limes, juiced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of Salt to taste
1/2 seedless watermelon, cut into bite-size cubes
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion, cilantro, basil, mint, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Using a large spoon mix the ingredients together and let sit on the counter while you cut up your watermelon. Add the cut watermelon to the large mixing bowl with the dressing at the bottom. Top with the feta cheese. Using a large spoon, gently toss the watermelon and feta with the dressing at the bottom of the mixing bowl. After combined, transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh mint and a thin slice of watermelon. Serve immediately.

Garnish: Sprigs of fresh mint and a slice of watermelon

Enjoy! Beijos Camila

Full recipe by Women of Today »

JKL Swag of the Month:

New “Sit and Chill”… Is it a cooler? Is it a seat? It’s Both!

This cooler will hold 18 cans of your favorite beverage and you (up to 200 Lbs.) It folds flat for easy storage. Has a pocket on the lid to hold your can coolers and a mesh pocket on each side.

Get Yours Today!  

June 2021 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Janaya & Jada, Venice H.S., Los Angeles

Twin sisters, Janaya and Jada have been faithful JKL students at Venice H.S. since freshman year.

Both have been very active in pursuing their unique goals through the JKL online programming this year. Janaya was able to develop her cooking skills, incorporate new ingredients and create recipes from scratch. Jada found support for her weight loss journey by joining our world calisthenics and strong nation workouts.

Despite the positive experiences they both had with online JKL programming, attending school via zoom had its challenges. Luckily, the JKL monthly Mental Health Monday sessions helped these sisters navigate the semester.

As they approach their last year of high school, they are focused on their academics as they are both hoping to attend a Historical Black College University. “Jada and Janaya are superb and exemplary JKL students who work hard in their academic growth and endeavors. Their leadership and dedication is a pleasure to watch” – Joy (JKL instructor).

JKL End of Year Celebrations!

The JKL New Visions program in New York hosted an awesome End of Year Celebration!

Mrs. Beyers, JKL instructor created a heart-warming presentation highlighting all of the amazing things the program has been able to accomplish throughout the school year, despite the extra challenges. Students received some fun awards like “Top Chef” for going above and beyond during nutrition demonstrations.

The group even created a collective board where each student could write things that they admire or like about the other JKL students. This was a much deserved celebration for our incredible students!

UCLA Psychology Connects: Perspectives on Happiness

Our founder, Matthew McConaughey joined the UCLA department of Psychology alongside Kevin Love for a very special salon on the perspectives of happiness, the importance of setting meaningful goals and the ways in which mindfulness and gratitude can be used as a resource.

We are so grateful to Michelle Craske, co-director of the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge, for leading the conversation. As Kevin Love said, “action is what defines us” and we are so grateful to Kevin for taking an active role in fighting the stigma around mental health! We are proud to work with the Kevin Love Fund with our JKL students and his Mental Health initiatives and honored to have been a part of this discussion.

K’s for a Cause to benefit just keep livin

Through Ks for a Cause, Trevor Bauer of the Los Angeles Dodgers provides financial support and highlights various local nonprofit organizations focused on STEM and/or youth programming in the greater Los Angeles area.

For every strikeout (K) during the regular season, Bauer will donate $1,000. Each month, a different nonprofit organization is designated. We are thrilled that just keep livin was chosen as the May beneficiary, receiving a total of $45,000 in donations! We are truly so grateful to Trevor and the entire Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation for choosing JKL!

Rachel Miriam X Camila McConaughey: Just Keep Breathin’ Collection

Rachel Miriam partnered with Camila McConaughey to create a special Just Keep Breathin’ Collection.

Through this adorable collection of personalized essentials for meditation, mindfulness and gratitude, Rachel is generously donating a portion of the proceeds to just keep livin!

Check Out the Collection!

Congrats to the JKL Graduates!

Adia Larzeia
attending Prairie View A & M University

Brittany Valenzuela
attending UCLA

Erin Crittenden
attending Texas Christian University on full ride scholarship

Camila’s Tips: Mini Pepper Dippers

1.5-2 lbs. ground turkey (not lean ground turkey)
3 tbsp olive oil divided
4 jalapeño or serrano chili peppers, chopped remove seed and ribs if you want less heat
1 large onion diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb. baby sweet peppers They are usually sold in 1lb bags – washed and split in half lengthwise, removing seeds and stem.

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and chopped jalapeño or serrano peppers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a mixing bowl. Add turkey, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and option cayenne.

Top the turkey and spices with the cooled onion and pepper mixtures.Combine the turkey, spices and cooked pepper and onion mixture together.

In a large low edge casserole dish, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to bottom.

Using a small spoon, fill each mini pepper half with the turkey seasoned mixture and placed into the greased casserole dish.

Move the pepper around the dish to evenly spread the olive oil. This will prevent the peppers from sticking to the casserole dish when baking.

Once your peppers are stuffed, place into the over for 30-45 minutes or until browned on top.

Remove from oven and serve with your favorite salsa or salad, or both.

Enjoy! Beijos
– Camila

Swag of the Month

JKL Plastic Stadium Cups: Made in the USA, BPA free and recyclable.
Great for the beach, camping or just hanging out in your backyard.

Get Yours Today!

May 2021 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Hanna, JKL Student

Freshman JKL student, Hanna, like many other students across the country, started her high school experience entirely virtual. When she realized the COVID-19 pandemic was staying longer than anticipated and online learning would be her new norm, Hanna decided to join the New Visions JKL afterschool program.

She had the benefit of hearing many positive reviews from her cousin, a JKL alumni. It was the JKL program that helped launch Hanna into a fun weight loss journey! Since joining the program Hanna has lost 21 pounds through fun, high-energy dance classes and sweaty HIIT workouts.

Mental Health Mondays have been a highlight for Hanna getting through stressful school days and coping with being an only child at home. Hanna expressed, “Mental Health Mondays have encouraged me to keep my head up during the times I felt alone and provided me with calming breathing techniques for when I start overthinking.” After Hanna completes high school, she would like to obtain an engineering degree focused on coding while also pursuing an acting career.”

Hanna is a student who is full of wisdom and energy… No matter what is going on, she sees the positive and brings light to everything she is involved in. Hanna has been such a great asset to our JKL program,” says Ms. Byers. We look forward to seeing Hanna and the New Visions JKL program continue to thrive!

Mack, Jack & McConaughey Fundraiser

Although the event may have looked slightly different this year, the Mack, Jack & McConaughey fundraiser was a huge success!

The first evening kicked off with an incredible performance by Parker McCollum. The next day included a golf tournament and fashion brunch with a beautiful performance by Jessi Alexander where she sang a few of her #1 hits!

We are beyond grateful to Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall and Jack Ingram for their raw performance of The Marfa Tapes! Huge thanks to our sponsors and donors who continuously show up to support the amazing organizations who benefit from this event; CureDuchenne, Dell Children’s Medical Center, HeartGift, The Rise School and just keep livin Foundation. Our hearts are full of gratitude with the fantastic turnout!

American Airlines Career Panel

A huge thank you to our amazing partners at American Airlines for hosting a career panel for our JKL students and staff in April!

We are so grateful to each of our guest speakers for taking the time to allow our students to interact with members of the AA team from a variety of positions to learn about the different career opportunities within the airlines industry and what it takes to be successful in the world of work in general.

The Ultimate Self-Care Workshop

Our JKL program in West Charlotte partnered with McCrorey YMCA to deliver gift boxes to their JKL students filled with fitness equipment and self-care items!

The group met together via zoom to discuss how to take care of themselves physically, emotionally, and mentally! It was a day full of smiles, helpful tips, and happy students!

What Are You Grateful For?

Hear from our just keep livin students…

“I am grateful for JKL, this workout, the roof over my head, my family, everything I have in my life because it’s there for a reason.”
– Chrystal, JKL Student

“I am thankful for my Mom because she has put me through high school and because it has been tough but I am graduating this year!”
– Jennifer, JKL Student

“I am grateful to be back in person with my kiddos.”
– Coach Nasarra, JKL Instructor

Camila’s Tips: Camila’s Yuca Fries

1-2 whole yucas
Oil for frying (avocado or another high heat oil)
Sea Salt

1. Place a large pot on stove, fill with water up to 3 inches from the top and begin to bring water to a boil.
2. Remove ends of yucca. Cut yuca into 4” long pieces and remove the skin. (See video for tip on removing skin)
3. Place whole 4” peeled pieces into boiling water and cook until tender, approximately 25–30 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked yucca from water, let cool slightly and slice lengthwise to give you your “fries”. Sometimes you will find thicker stringy root that runs in the middle of the yuca, remove it when slicing, discard.
4. Bring your oil to frying temperate and gently place each fry into the oil.

*Beginners tip: to know if you oil is hot enough place a small piece of yucca into oil to see if it starts bubbling in oil. Or another way is using the base of the handle of a wooden spoon and placing that in the oil and bubbles will start to form around the wood.

5. After about a minute, gently turn the yuca fries in the oil to get golden brown.
6. Remove the fries and drain on a paper towel. While still hot, sprinkle fries with sea salt to taste.
7. Fries can be served with ketchup or as I like it, hot sauce!

*Alternately, the Yuca can also be boiled, drained, and then topped with a little butter or your favorite topping that you would use for a baked potato.

Me personally, I make a batch of the boiled yuca and keep in fridge for the week. It makes a great satisfying snack.

Enjoy! Beijos
– Camila

Full Recipe on Women of Today »

Swag of the Month

Limited Edition JKL Texas Relief Fund Custom Guitar T-shirt and Hat

Get Yourself a T-shirt!

Get Yourself a Hat Too!

April 2021 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Jordan Moore: Manual Arts JKL Program, Los Angeles

Like many programs, due to COVID, JKL has had to pivot and offer our weekly programming online in a creative way!

For some students zoom fatigue has become a reality while others are making it a priority to utilize online resources. Jordan from Manual Arts High School is one of the JKL student’s taking advantage of our weekly resources and online programming. Jordan explains, “The JKL program has helped me become more confident in dealing with situations that I struggled with. Mental Health Mondays has really allowed me to use the tools that our taught to deal with my stress”.

During the pandemic, Jordan has acquired some newly found cooking skills and has decided to eat more vegetables while removing soda and candy from his diet. We are so proud of Jordan and we love watching him achieve his goals. Jordan is Senior and may not get to experience another in-person JKL session, but he is forever grateful for the nutrition knowledge, community service events and guest speakers that have given him such great perspectives on life.

“Jordan is a young man who will be successful in the future because of the confidence he has and his ability to always think in a positive way” says Mr. Simpson, JKL instructor. Next Fall, Jordan will be enrolled in a California based college studying graphic design!

We’re Texas Virtual Benefit Concert

In response to the current devastation caused by the Texas Winter Storm, the just keep livin Foundation has set up a just keep livin Texas Relief Fund.

On March 21st, Camila and Matthew hosted the We’re Texas Virtual Benefit Concert for the just keep livin Texas Relief Fund to support the critical short-term, mid-term and long-term needs of those impacted by Texas Winter Storm Uri. The event will continue to stream on Matthew’s YouTube channel through April 20th 2021.

Here are some ways you can still donate to the just keep livin Texas Relief Fund:

1. Donate.
2. Text-to-Give: Text TEXAS to 20222 to donate $10 at any time throughout the remainder of 2021.
3. Purchase a Limited Edition JKL Texas Relief Fund Custom Guitar T-shirt. 100% of the profits will go to the just keep livin Texas Relief Fund.

View the “We’re Texas” Virtual Benefit Concert, streaming on Matthew’s YouTube channel until April 20th, 2021, and click the donate button to contribute.

Anacostia hosts guest speaker Lawrence Sidbury Jr.

NFL Veteran, philanthropist, and founder of the Zero Limitations Foundation, Lawrence Sidbury Jr., spoke to 50 of our just keep livin students at Anacostia High School.

Mr. Sidbury shared about his time in the NFL and life after retirement from the league in 2018. He now owns his own trucking business and started the Zero Limitations Foundation. He reminded the kid to “Know No Limits” and follow their dreams. His mom is an Anacostia alumni and the students were truly so excited and grateful to hear from another dynamic speaker!

What Are You Grateful For?

Hear from our just keep livin students…

“I am grateful for my decision to eat healthier and for meeting new friends in JKL.”
– Ashley, Sunset HS, Dallas

“I am grateful to start JKL this week I am excited to see where this journey will take me, and I can’t wait to be back on campus.”
– Destiny, Fairfax HS, Los Angeles

“I am grateful for JKL for always providing insightful and thought provoking sessions.”
– Cam, Venice HS, Los Angeles

Camila’s Tips: Fruity Rolls

Serving clean snacks to your kids does not need to be hard!

I really try to avoid serving my kids processed foods whenever possible … This recipe a great snack that I make for them, that I can feel good about. These fruit rolls are so easy to do, and I put chia seeds in the recipe to add in some additional nutrition and protein. Have fun with this recipe! It works with a lot of different fruits, I just happen to love mango!

2 ¼ cup diced Mango (or preferred fruit)
1tsp chia seeds ( adds omega 3’s and fiber and a little protein)

In a blender or food processor make a smooth paste with the mango.

Add in the teaspoon of Chia Seeds Spread mixture thin and even onto a silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Place in a 175* oven for 2-3 hours. Watch it carefully and look for a slightly dry surface with just browning edges. Once cooled cut off edges to get an even rectangle and cut into long one inch wide strips and roll!

Enjoy! Beijos
– Camila

Full recipe on Women of Today »

Swag of the Month

Limited Edition JKL Texas Relief Fund Custom Guitar T-shirt and Hat – Grab your limited edition t-shirt or hat! 100% of the profits will go towards the just keep livin Texas Relief Fund to help support those impacted by Texas Winter Storm Uri.

Get Yours Now!

February 2021 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Riley Branum, East Laurens High School, GA


Freshman JKL student, Riley Branum is a jocular and fearless leader who exudes positive energy and dedication.

Riley was fortunate enough to attend 1 of 2 high school campuses that offered JKL programming in hybrid format last fall! Once Riley learned about the elements of the JKL program, especially community service and gratitude, she was all in! Riley explained, “It’s nice to know we give back to our community, it is something I have been doing for long time and it’s very important to me”.

Upon entering high school, Riley had a lot of issues with anxiety and self-doubt. Riley has found a safe haven in the JKL program where she can share her creative passions and become a peer leader. “Riley loves deeply and cares for everyone. She is a great friend to others and is always there when needed. I am very proud of the young lady she is becoming”, said Ms. Hester.
The East Laurens JKL program just completed its first semester and has already made some successful strides. There was strong student engagement during a campus beautification project and a great mentoring collaboration with their local elementary school. First year programs with awesome students is a recipe for success!

We look forward to seeing Riley and the East Laurens JKL program thrive this semester.



JKL Students Connect with Nashville Predators Hockey Players


Students from JKL programs at Antioch and Maplewood high schools in Nashville recently had the opportunity to connect with two professional hockey players from their hometown Predators, Colton Sissons and Nick Cousins.

The players shared their goals for 2021 with students, which included staying healthy and of course winning the Stanley Cup! They also shared encouraging advice such as the importance of not letting yourself get too high or too low, showing up with a smile, and not being afraid to think big.

They talked with students about nutrition (both players have stepped up their home cooking game during the pandemic), exercise (Cousins shared that it makes him feel accomplished and release stress), and mental health (both enjoy taking walks outside to clear their head). We ended the Q&A session with a virtual Gratitude Circle, in which Sissons said he was grateful to teachers, which was especially poignant since we had our JKL Nashville teachers present as well!

We’re so grateful to the Predators for making time for this special treat for our students, especially considering their first game of the season is just days away.



JKL Students Inspired by Microsoft’s Women in Technology Career Panel



JKL students got the chance to participate in a private “Women in Technology” Career Panel put on especially for them courtesy of Microsoft.

Students really enjoyed this special opportunity to hear and connect with each panelist (executives from several different sectors of the company) as they shared their unique career journeys leading to Microsoft. Students had the chance to hear about the women’s backstories as well as participate in a Q&A session.

There were some key words of wisdom shared at the event such as, “The sky is not the limit, it is the view,” “You’ll miss 100 % of the shots that you don’t take,” and “Know your worth.” Sidney, JKL student from Carver High School said, “I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to hear from such powerful women in technology tonight. I wanted to thank you for such wonderful inspiration!” Microsoft even followed up the session by providing our students with free links to their Computer Science Education Week Workshops including sessions on coding and gaming.

We’re grateful we could provide our students with such a unique and practical opportunity thanks to Microsoft!



JKL Student Wins Prestigious College Scholarship



Shia Wade, a JKL Senior at Venice High School, was recently awarded a full college scholarship to Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, from the Posse Foundation!

This respected organization finds students who might be missed by the traditional admissions criteria at highly selective schools but who can excel on campus. This year, over 2,300 of Posse Los Angeles’s finest youth leaders were nominated for Posse Scholarships and only a small group of students were chosen as Finalists.

We’re thrilled for Shia, who, as a Posse Foundation Scholar, will also receive pre-collegiate training – workshops that help Scholars develop as leaders before they matriculate at college. She plans on majoring in Writing. We’re so proud of Shia for sticking with the 4 month interview process!



Camila’s Tips: Crispy Zucchini Fries



Thought guilt-free fries were a myth? Skip the greasy fingers but get all the satisfaction with these oil-free low carb crispy zucchini fries. These fries by Every Last Bite are a snacking dream! Crunchy on the outside and deliciously warm and soft in the middle, you would never guess these zucchini fries are healthy! Put away the sugary ketchup and serve these zucchini fries with a deliciously fresh garlic and herb dipping sauce which is rich in protein and calcium.

• 2 large zucchini
• 1 tbsp gluten free flour
• pinch of salt and pepper
• 1 egg
• 2 tbsp skim milk (or almond milk)
• 1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs
• 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
• 1/4 tsp garlic salt
• 1 tsp mixed herbs

• 1/3 cup nonfat Greek Yogurt
• 1/2 clove garlic
• 1 tbsp chopped chives
• 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash the zucchini and cut in slices approximately 1/2 an inch in thickness. Place the zucchini sticks in a Ziploc bag along with the flour, salt and pepper. Seal the bag and shake well until all sides of the zucchini sticks are lightly coated in flour. In a bowl whisk together the egg and milk. In another bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, herbs and spices. Working in batches of 2sticks at a time, dip the zucchini in the egg and then dredge in the dry mixture so that all sides are well coated and then place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining zucchini sticks. Bake the zucchini in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure they are evenly crisp and golden. Stir together all of the ingredient for the dipping sauce and serve alongside the warm zucchini fries.

Enjoy! Beijos
– Camila

Full recipe on Women of Today »



Swag of the Month: JKL Zip Up Hoodies

New JKL full zip hoodies! To zip or not to zip . . . either way this full zip sweatshirt is perfect when you needed that extra layer and a jacket is too much.

Get Yours Now!


January 2021 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

It is once again the time of year when we reflect on the work the just keep livin Foundation has done, the impact we have made and the goals we have for the upcoming year. It goes without saying that 2020 was a year unlike any other, and like all of you, we have worked hard to adapt and pivot. We are proud of the ways we have continued to serve our students and teachers throughout the country during a time when they’ve needed us more than ever.

We do not do this work alone. Led by our Foundation Staff, Board of Directors and Advisory Board, and our incredible teachers, and supported by our corporate partners and individual donors, we were able to serve 3,000 high school students at 39 programs in 13 cities this year. As we come to the end of 2020, we wanted to thank you for your continued support of our mission of empowering high school students to lead active lives and make healthy choices for a better future.

When COVID-19 first led to school closures back in March, we began fundraising to address two urgent community needs: meals and access to technology. Working with organizations such as Green Dot Public Schools, LAUSD, Boys & Girls Club and No Kid Hungry, and thanks to generous donations from our supporters, we were able to raise $300,000 to provide 35,000 meals and 700 computers to students in need.

As the pandemic has continued, we have been able to develop effective communication strategies to stay connected with our students and to continue to provide them with the programming and support they need. We’ve held online yoga sessions, calisthenics workouts, healthy recipe demonstration videos, and hosted virtual guest speakers who have inspired and encouraged our students as well as provided them with the tools they need to nurture their mental health. Through it all, our students have continued to give back to their communities in safe ways, such as participating in virtual voter registration drives and writing notes of encouragement to essential workers.

We thank you for your dedication and passion for what we do to help make all of this possible. Cheers to a brighter and healthier 2021 for us all.

just keep livin,

Camila and Matthew McConaughey



Student Spotlight: Perla, Fremont High School


Perla graduated from Fremont High School in 2017. In addition to being a member of just keep livin program, Perla also was a letterwinner in soccer, volleyball and track.

Currently she is attending University of Nebraska at Kearney. (UNK) where she is a Junior majoring in Sociology and playing soccer. Prior to transferring to UNK, Perla attended East Los Angeles College for two years where she helped the Huskies win eight games and tie 11 others over the 2018-2019 season for soccer.

Perla was twice named All-South Coast Conference North Division and the the SCC North Division in goals (18) in 2018.




John Adams Gives Back During the Holidays

The JKL program at John Adams College and Career donated food to families in need for Thanksgiving.

Families received baskets with food to prepare for the holidays and could pick a ham or turkey to add to their basket. In addition, on that Wednesday, the program also purchased hot food for two families of JACCA students who needed help for Thanksgiving.

The two families received chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a cookie tray for dessert. They did not know they were receiving anything and it was wonderful to see the smiles it brought and to hear how grateful they were that the JKL program thought of them during the holidays.



Waboba Helps “Keep Life Fun” for JKL Students



JKL Students at Longview High School in Texas and East Laurens High School in Georgia recently received special deliveries that certainly helped them “keep life fun,” which is the mission of Waboba, a Swedish company committed to creating unique, fun products that change the way you play.

They gifted our students at these two schools (our only JKL programs that, due to local and school regulations, are allowed to meet in-person) with items including their famous “Moon Balls,” Moon Cracket Set, LED Flyers, and more.

Waboba’s mission is backed by a team of researchers that has determined that children and adults should play at least once a day to experience an improvement in mood and general well-being. Now that’s a philosophy we can get behind! Our students had a blast trying out their new gear, and working up a sweat at the same time! Thank you Waboba for your generous donation!

Athletes That Care Donates Backpacks to JKL Students



Students in our JKL program at Longview High School in Texas were thrilled to receive brand new backpacks thanks to a generous donation from the Athletes That Care group out of Diana, Texas.

Athletes That Care is a small service organization based at New Diana High School. It was formed a few years ago by some students with a very determined mother at their side to support their efforts. Mrs. Lori James (mother/leader) and her daughter LiAnn James, a junior at New Diana High, were kind enough to share their hard work and dedication with our JKL kids.

This organization was started with the goal of helping foster kids and underprivileged kids with basic needs and they are now they are reaching out to area schools seeking to support any kid in need. They’ve distributed over 1,000 new bags so far, and we are honored to partner with them!




Camila’s Tips: Brazilian Rice



5 cups rice (cooked according to package directions)
1 tbsp butter
1 cup carrots (diced)
1 cup golden raisins (chopped)
1 cup dried plums (or to taste) (chopped)
1 cup chopped green apple (diced)
Olive oil and salt (as needed)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 15oz can diced tomatoes(drained)
1 cup ham (chopped)
1 cup frozen peas (room temperature)
1 15oz can hearts of palm (drained and chopped)
1/2 cup green olives (sliced)
2 cups mozzarella (shredded)

1. Cook rice according to package directions.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Melt butter in a stockpot. Add carrots, raisins, plums and apple. Cook over medium heat until mixture is golden brown and begins to soften.
4. In a large sauté pan, place a little oil, and the onion and 3 generous pinches of salt. Cook until translucent. Add tomatoes, ham, peas, hearts of palm, and olives. Sauté for a few minutes and season to taste.
5. In a baking dish, place a layer of rice, then half the fruit mixture, then half of the ham mixture on top. Continue layering, finishing with the rice, and topping with cheese.
6. Bake until cheese melts and serve.

Enjoy! Beijos
– Camila



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December 2020 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Mya Hickman, New Vision Humanities High School, New York


A once timid, shy and reserved freshman, Mya from New Vision Humanities in New York, took the advice from her counselor and joined the JKL program.

Mya is now a thriving, outspoken sophomore student who remembers that day vividly. She explains, “I had such a shell and was very shy and there were so many people in the cafeteria for the JKL meeting, but I decided to get out of my comfort zone and I haven’t turned back!” Now with the JKL program being 100% virtual, Mya is still taking advantage of each session and hasn’t missed one yet.

Getting a chance to hear from WWE Super Star R-Truth and have weekly Zumba classes have been the highlight of her semester so far. Although she is still uncertain about when school will be back in-person, Mya is not complaining.

Since Covid, she has become more focused with school work and keep remaindering herself to “not be afraid to try new things.” JKL Instructor, Ms. Byers states, “Mya is a student who overcame academic obstacles and fitness challenges. Mya is a model JKL student who fits in just perfectly in our JKL program.”




Get Lit with Greenlighter Gear

Since we have launched online programming this Fall, Kamari has had 100% participation. Sessions with Officer Ryan Tillman, Vote.org, Monthly We hope you loved j.k. livin Founder Matthew McConaughey’s memoir and #1 New York Times Bestseller, Greenlights, as much as we did!

Now you can rock your own personal “Greenlighter” gear, as Matthew calls it, as “a reminder and inspiration to create greenlights in this life for yourself and others, so we can all get lit and just keep livin.” Count us in! For T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, koozies and more, visit www.shopgreenlights.com!



JKL Students Give Back During the Holiday Season



Our JKL students from Fremont High School in Los Angeles put on a community service event appreciating the essential workers in their schools.

Students safely put together goodie bags and constructed “Thank You” posters and cards for the cafeteria workers who provide food to the community. Goodie bags were delivered to the food workers from LAUSD at Fremont High School in appreciation for all of the hard work that they do for our community.

This idea was sparked during a gratitude zoom session when one of the students talked about how thankful she was to our cafeteria workers who she felt were not recognized for being out in the front lines during the COVID closures. She explained how they provided her family food every day during the lockdown. She talked about how although they have masks on they are very welcoming and always make sure they give her family enough meals, even for her parents.



Our JKL program at East Laurens High School in Dublin honored 4 of their staff members who have served our country by planning a Veterans Day reception at East Laurens High School.

It was important for the Veterans to know how deeply appreciated they are for the sacrifices they have made in their lives to keep our country free. Students decorated each of the staff member’s classroom doors at school and Jaylen, who is one of the JKL members, wrote a poem in their honor.

After decorating the doors, the students invited the four staff members to join their JKL session to share stories and include them in the gratitude circle where all 4 were thanked for their service and sacrifice.





Camila’s Tips: Candied Mixed Nuts and Cranberry Mix



• 2 cups unsalted cashews*
• 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts*
• 2 cups whole pecans*
• 1 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
• 1-1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 large egg whites
• 1 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine nuts. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl,beat egg white with whisk until foamy. Add sugar, spices, and salt.
Pour egg white-sugar mixture over nuts. Gently fold until nuts are evenly coated. Divide nuts between prepared baking sheets.
4. Bake candied nuts at 300F 30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once every 15 minutes.
5. Cool nuts completely on baking sheet. Once cooled, break nuts apart into clusters and combine with dried cranberries.
6. Store snack mix in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy! Beijos
– Camila

Full recipe on Women of Today »



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November 2020 Newsletter

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.

Enjoy! Beijos
– Camila

Full recipe on Women of Today »



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October 2020 Newsletter

Matthew McConaughey Helps Support Voter Registration


JKL Founder Matthew McConaughey participated in Facebook Watch’s Vote-A-Thon 2020 on Tuesday, Sept. 22, to support National Voter Registration Day.
The non-partisan educational event aimed to register 4 million voters in order to become the largest voting information campaign in American history. The reimagined telethon, featuring informational games, absentee ballot tutorials and helpful reminders ultimately sent Facebook users to its Voting Information Center with important resources ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. In case you missed it, you can check out the video here.


2020 Election: JKL Students Get Involved


This year, we want to make sure that our just keep livin students know that their voices matter! Our goal is to equipped the JKL community with information and resources needed to help get everyone who is eligible to vote registered.
We have also encouraged our younger students to spread awareness for the importance of voting as well as pledge to vote when they are of age. This is such an important and exciting time for the first-time voters in our program and we are happy to provide assistance throughout the process.
Additionally, we had the pleasure of hosting guest speaker, Sydney Rose from Vote.org, who led a great presentation about easy-to-use online voter tools and how to access local voter information. We have a number of additional events and activities coming up with a focus on voting and we look forward to the impacting change that comes through education and accessibility to quality information.

Are You Registered to Vote?



What Are You Grateful For?


“I’m grateful for all the obstacles in my life. They have strengthened me as I continue with my journey.”
– Lesely, Sam Houston High School, Texas

  – – – –  

“I’m grateful for social media because even though I can’t vote, at least I can encourage others to.”
– Malik, Anacostia High School, Washington D.C.

  – – – –

“I’m grateful for being alive and having the confidence to show my face on camera, on Zoom because I remember there was a time where I had a shell and I couldn’t even do that, so I am just proud and grateful.”
– Mya, New Visions High School, New York



Honoring Those Lost on 9/11


JKL Founder Matthew McConaughey joined other celebrities including Alec Baldwin and Kristen Bell for Cantor Fitzgerald & BGC Partners’ virtual Charity Day 2020, a one-day event that works to honor the lives of those lost on 9/11.
These philanthropic famous faces joined the trading firm’s clients and employees in a virtual meet and greet session to raise funds for charitable organizations. The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, which has raised approximately $180 million globally since its inception, was created to commemorate the 658 Cantor employees and 61 Eurobrokers lost in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.
The founders pledged on day one that help would always be there, not just to assist those affected by 9/11, but to provide hope and support around the globe. In addition to this worthy organization, the event also raised $10 million for hundreds of other charities around the world, including the just keep livin Foundation.


Pick Up Matthew McConaughey’s Memoir Later This Month!


Ever since I learned to write, I’ve been keeping a journal, writing down anything that turned me on, turned me off, made me laugh, made me cry, made me question, or kept me up at night,” McConaughey says in a video message to his social media followers.
“Two years ago, I worked up the courage to take all of those journals off into solitary confinement just to see what the hell I had, and I returned with a book.”
That book is called Greenlights, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction. When asked about the meaning of the title, McConaughey said, “it’s the story about how I have — and we all can — catch more of them in this life we’re livin’. Greenlights, which McConaughey calls, “a love letter to life,” is available from Penguin Random House on October 20th.


Camila’s Tips: No Mayo Coleslaw


This recipe goes well with everything!!!! Eat it alone or enjoy it as a dish by itself!
The cabbage will last you a long time in the refrigerator before you shred it, and then it will last you few days after you make this recipe! With the times we are going through now, it is essential to make things that will last longer and require you to take fewer trips to the store! It is also a super inexpensive recipe to make, and a better-for-you version of coleslaw because it doesn’t have the mayo.
• Green Cabbage
• 1 large red apple julienned or thin sliced (I used Granny Smith )
• 1/2 or 1/4 red red onion thinly sliced (the amount depends on the size of your cabbage )
• 3 tbsp coarsely chopped mint
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tsp apple cider vinegar≈ • 1-2 tsp white wine vinegar
• Salt to taste
1. Finely shred the cabbage using a mandoline. If you don’t have one, use a sharp knife and shred as fine as you can! The thinner the cabbage, the better this will taste.
2. Combine all the other Ingredients and mix together in a large bowl. Taste it as you go to see if it needs any more acidity, moisture or salt!
3. Can be served right the way or it gets better next day!
Enjoy! Beijos
– Camila


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September 2020 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Madahi, Venice High School, Los Angeles, JKL Graduate 2020


Recent JKL Venice High School Alum, Madahi wasn’t able to cross the stage for graduation this year like so many of our other JKL seniors across the country. She still stands tall and full of positive energy with summer coming to end and college on the horizon!
Since the pandemic, Madahi has been able to focus on her newly discovered vegan diet and zero waste lifestyle, which she credits to what she learned in the JKL program. She explains, “when I was in the Venice JKL program it definitely opened eyes to trying new foods, being healthy in my choices and always giving back to the community. My best friend and I have been on a vegan journey and we are loving it!”
Although JKL meetings didn’t take place in person during the late spring semester, Madahi was still committed to giving back to the community. She has been collecting donations to send protective gear and school supplies for farmers and their children in the San Jose area. A once shy and non-motivated student, Madahi is now ready to take on the world and reach her full potential. This Fall, Madahi will start college with a dream to one day have a place in forensics sciences. We wish nothing but positive energy and support for Madahi aspirations.


Back to School


We are thrilled to be kicking off our JKL programming for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.
Nothing seems typical anymore and we are truly reinventing the way we are providing quality programming for our students. As we prepare to continue to teach, support, and guide our amazing high school students, it is important to note that we have a high quality group of educators providing them guidance during this virtual period.
We anticipate a great start to the school year as we will continue to create a positive, safe, productive, and empathetic online experience. We will embark on a new journey this school year and collectively we will have to navigate waters that are unprecedented. As we prepare to continue with our online platform, our focus will be to ensure that all four components of our JKL program will be provided from live fitness workouts, nutrition demonstrations, virtual guest speakers, Mental Health Monday’s with licensed therapists to virtual community service opportunities.
We are thrilled to welcome back our returning JKL staff and students and we welcome our new members! We have expanded into Charlotte, North Carolina at West Charlotte High School, in Dublin, Georgia at East Laurens High School and right here in Los Angeles at Learning Works Charter. We look forward to serving our JKL community!


Matthew and Dr. Fauci Talk Shop


Our Founder, Matthew McConaughey recently interviewed the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci to discuss the coronavirus on his Instagram LIVE.
Matthew had the chance to ask Dr. Fauci questions about the virus and he received several scientific answers to help create a road map for all of us as we continue to try and move forward during these challenging times. There were some great key takeaways from the talk and you can listen to them here.
We are so proud that Matthew is always finding ways to help others. We appreciate Matthew and Dr. Fauci taking the time to continue to educate us through this pandemic. Taking care of yourself is taking care of others! The discussion ended on a hopeful note, with Matthew noting, “We can have our freedom and our party later. Right now, let’s pull together.”


Jackie Robinson Day


JKL students celebrated the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Major League debut in 1947.
Typically held each season on April 15th, it was rescheduled this year for August 28th. Our students decorated signs in his honor as they watched the game in support of our partners the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers.



Camila’s Tips: Baked Buffalo Cauliflower


This recipe is very easy to make, and it is addictive!! Once you start snacking, we promise you won’t be able to stop. We do have a couple tips we picked up for you when you make this dish:
First, cut your cauliflower into large pieces, approximately 1 inch to 1.5 inches in diameter (the pieces will shrink when cooked).
Second, make sure you remove any excess almond flour pieces before placing the cauliflower on a baking tray (they will burn if left on the pan!).
• 1 head organic cauliflower
• 1 cup almond flour
• 1 egg, or vegan egg substitute
• 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
• 1 tbsp garlic powder
• 1 tbsp onion powder
• 1 pinch salt and pepper
1. Pre heat the oven to 400°F.
2. Cut cauliflower into 1-1.5 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. Prepare the dipping mixture by putting the egg (beaten) in one bowl and the almond flour, garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper in another bowl.
4. Pour the egg over the cauliflower and mix well, making sure each piece is coated.
5. Pour the almond flour mixture over the cauliflower and mix, making sure each piece is coated well.
6. Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet.
7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until pieces are a little crispy on the edges. Careful not to let the pieces burn!
8. Remove cauliflower from oven and place pieces back in a large bowl.
9. Pour the Frank’s Red Hot Sauce on top, making sure pieces are totally coated.
10. Place the cauliflower back on the baking sheet and in the oven in 8 minutes.
11. Broil on high for 1 minutes.
View Full Recipe on Women’s Today »


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August 2020 Newsletter

Town & Country Magazine Philanthropy Summit


We are so excited that our founders Camila and Matthew McConaughy were included in Town & Country Magazine’s Philanthropy Summit with a mission to spread hope, celebrate heroism, and better the world by effecting positive change!
We are so grateful to everyone who tuned in and so proud to share our 360 approach to our JKL afterschool fitness and wellness program, providing a safe place for our youth where they can learn the tools for a better life. During the summit, our very own Program Manager, Leon Clayborne, had a great conversation with JKL Alum from Animo Inglewood Charter High School in Los Angeles, Maria Gutierrez Watson!
Maria was recently featured in Town and Country’s Philanthropy Issue alongside Matthew and Camila. She has since graduated from UCLA and is now a teacher in Chicago. We are so touched to have had the opportunity to share the incredible work of our foundation and so proud of Maria for all of her accomplishments!




JKL Partners With Homeboy Industries


Homeboy’s overarching goal is to see individuals heal from trauma. Over their 30-year history, they have seen time and time again the way that new experiences outside of the neighborhood help their program participants along their journey of healing.
For most justice-involved and gang-involved youth that they’ve worked with, we know summer to be a particularly vulnerable time for street violence in the absence of access to what some kids experience as typical summer opportunities.
Homeboy leaders lead a variety of experiences throughout the year for program participants to experience life outside of their trauma and their neighborhoods. They aim to provide opportunities to learn in spaces one has not experienced before, to find serenity in spaces of nature, to process and reflect surrounded by beauty and art, and to grow confidence and imagination while in kinship and community with other participants. JKL is excited to be a part of their summer programming reaching more than 40 of their youth for a 6 week summer programming. We have been providing part of our JKL programming by offering their youth yoga, calisthenics classes, hip hop classes, nutrition demos and tips on managing anxiety. We are proud to be partnering with such an amazing organization!


What Are You Grateful For?

“I am grateful for this program and that I have the opportunity to be on a call with everyone and talk about myself and about how other people are doing. It is nice to remember that I am not the only person in the world. I appreciate this time I have to self-reflect about the decisions I have made.”
– Kiryana (Morse HS, San Diego)

  – – – –  

“I am grateful for all my teachers and administrators because of all the effort they’ve put in to reach out and communicate with their students and for all the leniency and understanding that they’ve had during this time.”
– Brandon (Huntington Park HS, Los Angeles)

  – – – –

” am grateful for the people who are supporting me in this hard time that I am going through right now. It’s nice to have a support system.”
– Geneva Rushton (John Adams HS, Cleveland)



JKL Instructor Spotlight


Meet Cameron David, one of our amazing instructors from the JKL Program at Venice High School in Los Angeles! He has been busy this summer turning his passion for hiking into a soon to be nonprofit organization.
Cameron explains, “I started hiking years ago to get away from the city and work on my mental health and hiking helped me. When you are submerged in nature you are forced to be with yourself”. Cameron established “The Noir Nature Guide” after getting an overwhelming response from people who were curious about the hikes after he would post about them on social media.
The requests eventually turned into the Noir Nature Guide, a guided tour through the many mountains and trails in Southern California. The trips also include ice breakers, physical warmups, lunch, local history lessons and gratitude circles. You can catch Cameron leading 2-3 guided hikes a month. Be sure to check him out at @thee_noirnatureguide for more information.


Camila’s Tips: Camila’s Beet Hummus


This recipe is so easy to do, and so much better because it is homemade…
Most people don’t realize how easy it is to make your own hummus at home. Simply combine your ingredients in a food processor or blender, and serve. We promise you will get compliments from guests on how beautiful your spread looks!
• 2 cans chickpeas
• 1 cup tahini
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 3 cloves of garlic (large)
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 3 beets cooked (medium size)
1. In food processor combine all ingredients and puree until creamy. If too thick, add a little water to get to desired consistency.
2. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with sliced almonds, feta cheese, thinly sliced scallions, and sliced radishes.
Enjoy! Beijos
– Camila
Full recipe on Women of Today »


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