April Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Maurice

Ballou High School JKL member Maurice is a lover of all things fitness, especially anything associated with track and field! Maurice loves to run and prides himself on how fast he is.In addition to excelling in the fitness portion of the JKL program, Maurice recently conquered his fear of talking and interacting with strangers during a JKL field trip to the local homeless shelter.
During the field trip, he was able to pass out toiletries for the holidays and interact with the shelter residents. “I never get bored attending the JKL program, I meet new people, have great experiences and everyone supports each other,” says Maurice.
Maurice is a only a Sophomore, but already has long-term plans to work with the Washington D.C Housing Authority so he can help create more affordable housing for his community. Since joining the JKL program, Maurice has made it a point to reduce his sugar intake by drinking more water and becoming more cautious of his daily food choices. “Maurice is our JKL champion this month because he has overcome several adversities and family struggles. He was able to overcome some of his fears and that will ultimately help him move forward in life,” says his JKL Instructor, Mr. Monroe.

Camp Ubuntu

95 j.k. livin students and 12 chaperones from our Los Angeles programs recently participated in our annual overnight camping trip to Camp Ubuntu at the Canyon Creek Complex near Lake Hughes, CA. The word “Ubuntu” translates to “ I am because we are” and this theme perfectly sums up the focus of this magical weekend, where students support each other in order to ensure success individuals as well as a team.
Our students enjoyed trying their hand at archery, had the opportunity to overcome their fears on the high ropes course, created music, hiked, painted outdoors, participated in a variety of team sports and cooled off with friends at the Slip n Slide! Each night ended at the campfire, where students bonded over music, s’mores, dancing and a special live concert on Saturday evening! Camp Ubuntu uses a holistic approach to foster positive self-development and encourages the students to take what they learned back into their communities. We are grateful to the Harold Robinson Foundation for making this memorable weekend possible for our students!

Hollygrove Campus Beautification Project

30 j.k. livin students from Manual Arts, Animo Inglewood and Animo South Los Angeles high schools recently came together to give back to their community in the form of a campus beautification project at the Hollygrove campus.
Our JKL students took on leadership roles within their groups that were combined with Hollygrove’s after-school participants. It was great seeing our High School students working, encouraging and completing tasks with the elementary-age kids. Students created new basketball court lines and benches, painted flower pots and weeded two gardens.
The Hollygrove campus now has a bright new colorful touch to it thanks to the efforts of just keep livin! We are so appreciative of the Hollygrove staff for opening their campus to our JKL programs to come and participate in a great community service event.

Black Light Slide Event

On Saturday March 18th, our just keep livin students and instructors from Warren Easton High School in New Orleans enjoyed a fun-filled field trip to the Blacklight Slide at Zephyrs Baseball Stadium. Backlight has a passion to give back to the community, especially children and families. With each event they host, they support Children’s Miracle Network and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Blacklight Slide was an amazing experience for our students as the event focused on UV neon glowing fun! During the day, the students went down slides filled with fun colors but once nighttime fell, the neon lights lit up and the party began! The evening portion of this event allowed the JKL students the chance to go down slides filled with neon glow-in-the-dark water!
During this fun and unique event, our JKL students enjoyed a live concert where they got to dance to the best music from some of the top DJs in the country. Students also enjoyed taking photos in the booth provided so they could each take a picture home to remember this wonderful evening!

Baby2Baby Community Service Event

This past month our j.k. livin program at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles collaborated with the incredible organization Baby2baby on a very special and rewarding community service event. Baby2Baby is an organization dedicated to providing low-income children ages 0-12 with all the basic necessities every child deserves. Our students were happy to spend an afternoon helping to organize and sort donations, assisting in quality control and recycling items in the Baby2baby warehouse. We are excited about our partnership with this inspiring non-profit and look forward to creating many more community service opportunities together for our JKL students!

Dallas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

On Sunday March 19th, a group of just keep livin students from our Dallas-area programs participated in the annual Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon. The runners – from L.G. Pinkston, Eastern Hills and Sam Houston high schools – were able to challenge themselves while also having a lot of fun with their peers, and are now basking in the sense of accomplishment after completing this challenging race! j.k livin participants were able to finish strong, even while battling warmer-than-usual early-spring temperatures.
Perhaps it was the extra support they received from JKL partner, Brooks Running Co., who not only created a large banner wishing JKL runners luck in the race, but also donated new running shoes to all JKL participants! Says Pinkston student and JKL member, Jenaro, “The feeling I got when I crossed that finish line was exhilarating!” We’re so proud of our JKL runners and so grateful for the support of Brooks Running Co., who really helped take this event to the next level for our students!

Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling


Accountability is defined as being responsible for your own actions. Just think for a moment about the tasks and obligations you have in a week. Regardless of what has to get done, there is a higher need to fulfill your own personal needs first. Always remember that no one gets a 25th hour in their day. So be accountable to yourself. It is a must.
Choose your daily to do’s wisely and hold accountable to:
1) Scheduling your workouts every week
2) Packing your meals to bring to work or to wherever you are going
3) Drinking at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water a day
4) Ditching the high glycemic carbs on the regular
5) Limiting any and all alcohol consumption as much as possible
6) Getting your 7 hours of sleep each night
Are you doing all the above? If not, what is holding you back from doing so? Hold yourself accountable to yourself. If you are unable to hold yourself accountable, then form a master mind (this is in my book) or hire a coach. Either way, the time is now. Don’t wait to give your life back to yourself.”

Support Just keep livin foundation

When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates.