July 2024 Newsletter

Austin Subaru X Riptide Society X JKL

A huge thank you to Austin Subaru and Riptide Society for supporting our JKL community by
gifting a car to our JKL graduate Yami from Juan Navarro. We extend a heartfelt thank you for
making such a significant difference in her life and for helping her as she pursues a degree at
UT. Your generosity will have a lasting impact on her life as well as for her family. It’s gestures
like these that inspire others and contribute to continuing to build a supportive community for
our JKL youth!

Teacher Spotlight

JKL Instructor Karen Long

JKL Instructor Karen Long received our “Make it Happen” Staff of the Year Award at our
National Teacher Training this year! Ms. Long is proactive, resourceful, and passionate about
giving first-time opportunities to our JKL students. Ms. Long completed her first year as a solo
JKL instructor at Ralph Ellison H.S. in Chicago, Illinois. She had many program highlights from
students improving their behavior and grades in school to seeing her students with special
needs thrive. She had so many students thank her for their first-time experiences, including
yoga, golf lessons, ice skating, and nutrition knowledge. “Being able to show my students a
different world outside their neighborhood has been a fantastic experience, thanks to JKL. I
look forward to hitting the ground running next year and bringing even more opportunities to
my students.” This summer, Ms. Long will be enjoying a well-deserved trip exploring Vietnam.
We can’t wait to see the JKL Ralph Ellison program in action next school year!

Teacher Training 2024

Teacher training

The 2024 Teacher Training theme, “We INSPIRE, We MOTIVATE, We MAKE IT HAPPEN” was embraced with high energy, enthusiasm, and gratitude throughout our three-day teacher training event. Over 90 JKL teachers attended the training from across the country representing 11 different states. During the training, teachers participated in “Activation Activities” focusing on our 4 pillars in Nutrition, Wellness, Community Service, and Fitness. They were celebrated, recognized, and received program awards for making an impact in the lives of their students and for their outstanding programming. New teachers were introduced and collaboration was reinforced by the community-based infrastructure created by the teachers. 

On day 2, the teachers were surprised with a special visit from our JKL Founder and Co-Founder Matthew and Camila McConaughey. During the surprise visit, both Matthew and Camila thanked the teachers for their hard work and dedication to their students and the foundation. The teachers expressed their gratitude by sharing the impact the programs have made on the lives of their students and themselves. Latonya expressed, “Thank you for giving our youth a safe place to be themselves and make life-changing decisions.” Latasha added, “Thank you for allowing our SPED students to thrive in a community where they feel noticed.” Andrea shared, “Thank you so much for creating opportunities for students to have first-time experiences such as zip lining, canoeing, horseback riding, rope courses, senior service day, and flying to Washington D.C. The students have a bond and a safe place with JKL.” 

The 2024 Teacher Training was a HUGE success, and we look forward to continuing to celebrate our JKL teachers for all their hard work and commitment in the upcoming 2024-2025 school year. In the meantime, “Just Keep Livin.”

Camila’s Corner: Red, White and Blue-berry Popsicles

JKL Swag of the Month

Pocket Can Cooler
How do you make a can cooler better? Add a pocket, of course! Keep your beverages cool and
your life cooler with this 4 pack of 100% quality neoprene can coolers with a pocket. Click here to
purchase!