August Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Hermela

Hermela, an outstanding member of just keep livin, is a rising-Senior at Roosevelt High School. Even though last year was her first with the JKL program, she has already benefited so much from her involvement with the group. She has made strides towards conquering her shyness and becoming a healthier and more active teenager. At first, Hermela was too shy to work out in front of her peers, but once she felt the positive encouragement and support within the program, she immediately became a fiercely dedicated member.
Her father is proud that she is being active after school, especially since joining a sports team was never a focus of hers and JKL provides a different type of outlet for her to exercise and meet new people. Hermela’s favorite activities are learning how to use the weight room equipment properly and participating in the weekly swim classes.
Since joining the JKL program, Hermela has become more conscious of her eating habits and has vowed to make better food choices that will influence her two little brothers to eat healthier. She found herself becoming a natural ambassador for the program and is determined to get all her peers involved. Hermela comes from a family of small business owners and wants to obtain a degree in accounting and finance to follow in their footsteps. She would love to be accepted into Virginia Central University for undergrad and get her MBA from UCLA.

Alright Alright Alright T-Shirt Campaign

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

JKL Expansion into Cleveland

What’s Matthew McConaughey been doing in Cleveland recently? In addition to filming his upcoming film, White Boy Rick, he’s also been working hard to bring our just keep livin afterschool fitness and wellness program to two local high schools he developed a soft spot for while filming nearby – John Adams and Martin Luther King Jr.
We brought the JKL instructors from these two schools out to LA in June for our annual National Teacher Training. They are all really excited to get the program started and feel confident Cleveland will be a great fit for JKL! Matthew recently chatted with Katie Couric for Yahoo News about the affinity he’s developed for this resilient city and what he hopes to bring to students there through the j.k. livin program. Check out the piece here.

JKL National Teacher Training 2017

This year our annual National Teacher Training in Los Angeles was a blast! 70 of our JKL teachers gathered from our programs all over the country to learn from each other, share best practices, and most of all get re-energized for another year of JKL programming. Microsoft was nice enough to allow us to use their cool “Microsoft Lounge” space in Venice Beach for the training, as well as provide gourmet catering for our teachers to enjoy.
Our teachers got a special surprise when Mr. McConaughey himself stopped by to kick off the first day on his way to the airport! He told some great stories about the origins of the phrase “just keep livin” and fired up the teachers for the long day ahead. This year’s theme was based around communication and creativity. We always like to encourage and inform our teachers on ways to enhance the JKL program at their respective schools and how to provide new opportunities for their students.
We split the teachers up into 2 groups for workouts at Body By Simone and Burn 60, respectively, followed by delicious cold-pressed juices from Pressed Juicery. As a reward for all their hard work, the group enjoyed a fun happy hour on the beach in Marina Del Rey at the Jamaica Bay Inn as well as a rowdy Italian dinner outside on the patio at C&O Trattoria! We especially loved welcoming in the teachers from our newest programs at Cohen High School in New Orleans, and John Adams and Martin Luther King Jr. high schools in Cleveland.

LourdMurray NFL Fantasy Football Camp

The 2nd Annual LourdMurray NFL Fantasy Football Camp held at Brentwood School was in full throttle in mid-July! Our j.k. livin team was proud to help organize this week-long camp which provided an opportunity for over 200 inner city youth to sharpen their athletic skills while being mentored by some of their favorite Pro Players! The camp, open to incoming 6th, 7th and 8th graders, was attended by students from Olive Crest, KIPP LA schools, the Watts Bears, Brentwood School and Wilder Preparatory Academy.
We are very grateful to the Brentwood Football coaching staff and administration for hosting the camp, as well as to all of the NFL players who donated their time to give these students a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This year’s NFL professionals included Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys), Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos), Aqib Talib (Denver Broncos), and Kyle Williams (Buffalo Bills), among others. We want to give a special shout out as well to FitJoy for providing delicious protein bars to keep the campers power through the hot days!

Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling

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

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

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