December Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Christian


Christian is an 11th grade student at Sunset High School who is all about gratitude and taking advantage of the jkl program! “This is not a regular organization, our sponsors really care about us” says Christian. She is closing out her first semester in the jkl program and is already making her mark. She hasn’t missed one session, constantly promotes the program and always challenges herself!
Christian is currently training in jkl for her first 5k race which will take place this winter! Though she is a passionate Hip-Hop and Jazz dancer, preparing for the 5k has sparked a passion for running. Christian shared excitedly, “I feel better, I feel energized”.
Christian has total support from her parents who are glad she has a safe and welcoming place to go after school that challenges her physically and provides amazing opportunities. After high school, Christian would like to pursue a Psychology degree at the University North Texas. In addition to attending college, she has already promised to come back as an alum and volunteer for the jkl program.


Camila Alves McConaughey Steps Out to Give Back

On November 2nd, we were happy to lend our support to an organization who has been very generous to JKL over the years: Samsung. Our co-Founder, Camila Alves McConaughey, attended their annual Samsung Charity Gala at the Skylight Clarkson Square in New York, where she helped kick things off with NFL player Victor Cruz.
The co-presenters welcomed the crowd and later introduced a performance by Jon Bon Jovi. The festive evening also featured live performances by Hunter Hayes and Flo Rida. Entering its 16th year, Samsung’s philanthropic platform – Samsung Gives – remains committed to helping young people discover a world of possibilities. To date, Samsung philanthropic efforts have contributed more than $60 million, helping more than 1,200 schools, hospitals, and foundations throughout the U.S.


Caring Cards for St. Jude

Thank you to the jkl programs at Carter, Anacostia, Eastern Hills and AICHS that participated in the national Make A Difference Day Project for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Loukoumi Make a Difference Foundation rallies over 50,000 kids each year to make a difference on National Make a Difference Day.
Our jkl programs united together to make caring cards for patients at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital continues to lead the way with treating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Through this project, our jkl students showed compassion, support, care and inspiration through the words and pictures they created with their cards.


Camping at Bastrop State Park

Is your idea of a perfect holiday a camping trip where you can connect with nature? Well that is exactly what the jkl program at Akins High School did on a recent camping trip to Bastrop State Park. During the weekend camping excursion, the students were able to enjoy hiking, geocaching, astronomy, fire ecology, pumpkin carving and of course making s’mores around the fire!
For many of the students this was their first time camping and everyone loved it! We were thrilled to see this group come together to learn vital life skills through participating in the outdoors! There is no better place than camping in the wilderness to soak up the sunset or gaze up at the stars and build such memorable experiences!


RnR 5k Race

This past October, our Los Angeles jkl programs came together for the 7th annual Rock N Roll marathon held in Los Angeles. Our students continue to show resilience year after year for this event! All of the jkl training sessions and early morning pick up’s paid off for our students when they embraced each other on race day!
We had over 90 jkl student runners participate and one of our students, John, from Manual Arts, came in 3rd overall for his age division. Our students and staff love this event and with over 12,000 people in attendance with live music involved, it’s a great way to start your Sunday morning. We look forward to bringing our jkl students back once again to encourage one another, have fun and challenge themselves with a smile.


Coaches Corner with Jenn Zerling

Some Tips to Surviving the Holidays
I am not the expert who will say to skip the turkey and gravy and decadent pumpkin pie. I say go in with a plan so that you don’t make yourself sick, and you can enjoy your holidays without any restrictions.
1) Stick to your exercise plan day. Elevating your heart rate through high intensity interval training (HIIT) has been proven a gagillion times to create an increase in your metabolic rate which can last up to 24 hours. How cool that your metabolism is revved up for when you dive into your feast?
2) Drink plenty of water. Water is excellent for decreasing the salt volume in your blood from all the treats you’ll be eating on this day. In addition, water throughout your celebration means less booze in your system.
3) Be creative with some fun veggie dishes for your company. I dedicated a whole VEGGIES section on my website for you. My new one which was a hit is called wing sauced cauliflower.
4) Get plenty of rest throughout the season. Going to bed late lowers your immunity thereby making you more susceptible to getting a post-holiday sniffle.
5) Enjoy everyone, and every moment of your celebration. Realize that the holidays only come once a year. However, a life of gratitude on the daily can truly lift up your spirits and provide you with true fulfillment for every day of the year.

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