May 2018 Newsletter

Student Spotlight: Thalia


Aspiring photographer, Bachata dancer, and runner, are just a few titles that describe our amazing JKL student, Thalia, from Pinkston High School. Thalia is the 3rd member of her family to join and experience the JKL program. Giving back during community service events, running her first race, and adjusting her diet have been some of the highlights that she has experienced through the JKL program.
When it comes to capturing the program in action, Thalia is the go-to photographer and has really established herself as a natural leader. “I like to capture moments and emotions that build memories,” says Thalia. In the future Thalia is looking to receive a full-ride scholarship to study math at a college outside of Texas!


Gratitude Quote of the Month

“I’m grateful to the just keep livin program because just keep livin and the instructors have saved my life.”
— DeShaun, Venice


Mack, Jack & McConaughey 2018 – That’s a Wrap!


From April 11th – 14th, the just keep livin Foundation team was in Austin, TX for our annual "Mack, Jack & McConaughey" (MJ&M) fundraiser. This is our sixth year partnering with Texas coaching legend Mack Brown and country recording artist Jack Ingram on this joint fundraising effort.

The two-day event raised more than $2.25 million focusing on kids’ education, health, and wellness. Besides our just keep livin Foundation, the other beneficiaries include: CureDuchenne, Dell Children’s Medical Center, HeartGift, The Rise School of Austin.

There was a special headlining performance on Thursday evening from the Dixie Chicks and the live auction was the most successful year to date. The Friday festivities consisted of several fun-filled events including a golf tournament at Spanish Oaks Country Club and an incredible fashion show by Alice + Olivia presented by Neiman Marcus and hosted by Camila, Sally Brown and Amy Ingram at the JW Marriott.

The Friday night singer/songwriter concert began with an opening performance by Grammy Award-winning Patty Griffin. Other musicians included Butch Walker, John Fullbright, Shawn Mullins, Bruce Robison, Bobby Pinson, Radney Foster, and Jon Randall. “We are lucky to be able to call on our friends who are some of the best in the music industry; they show up every year to help us put on a great show,” said Jack Ingram. “We are beyond grateful to the many generous MJ&M sponsors from across the country and the incredible musicians who join us year after year, making this event so special,” said Mack Brown.

Matthew McConaughey added, “The evening was a celebration, a toast to the heart behind MJ&M – the beneficiaries. These organizations work tirelessly to empower kids and change lives, and we are honored to work with them. We are making a difference.” Once again, all events were a sell-out. The money we raised will enable us to give even more students the tools to live healthier lives through our after-school fitness and wellness programs. Thank you to all who attended and all the musicians that donated their time and talent to support MJ&M 2018! Please save the date for next year's event – April 25th & 26th, 2019!



Camp Ubuntu


We had 135 JKL students and 15 chaperones from our Los Angeles programs participate in our annual 3 day 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 individually as well as a team.
Our students enjoyed trying their hand at archery, plus they danced, hiked, painted outdoors, had the opportunity to overcome their fears by accomplishing the high ropes course as well as participated in a variety of team sports just to name a few of the fun activities they participated in at camp! Each night ended at the campfire where students bonded over music, smores, dancing and a special luau themed night! 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 JKL students!


Washington’s Roosevelt High School JKL Program –  Attends ShineHard Family Event:


On April 13th, the JKL program at Roosevelt High School attended the Court Side Sports and Entertainment Panel at Howard University. Our students joined Social Entrepreneur, Johnny Bailey, and representatives from Nike, ESPN, Sports Net, and the Washington Wizards for an inside look at what it takes to succeed in Sports & Entertainment.

The students thoroughly enjoyed listening and learning from the best millennials in the business during an interactive panel discussion. The ShineHard Family is a nonprofit organization founded by Johnny Bailey in 2014 with a mission to recognize and connect the nation’s top black millennial leaders, then unify them to educate and inspire the next generation of African American leaders in our community.



Guest Speaker: Lisa Jordan


Guest Speaker and passionate dance teacher, Lisa Jordan, has brought her gift of dance and positivity to our Nashville and Los Angeles JKL programs. Stories of her travels as a dancer across the world and high energy dance classes made for a great experience for our JKL programs.
Our students were encouraged to always bring their best self and went outside of their comfort zones to learn some new dance moves in the process. Having interactive guest speakers continue to make our programs holistic and thrive with excitement.


Camila’s Beet Salad Recipe


Who else is a huge fan of beets? We LOVE beets in our house … They are one of my favorite foods, and even my kids love to eat them. That’s why this Beet Salad with Oranges + Arugula has become a go-to salad recipe of mine that I make all the time.
Whether you are serving it to your family, or at a dinner party — You really can’t go wrong with this salad. It’s light, refreshing and the flavors are amazing! The beets, combined with the citrus of the oranges, the flavor of the onion and texture of the walnuts is a perfect combination of ingredients and textures.
This salad also looks beautiful because of the rich colors, so it has a great presentation-factor! It’s an excellent salad to make all year long, but I especially like to make it now that we are officially into spring.
Click here for recipe!


Recipe of the month – from Beller Nutrition

A Date with Chocolate

Have chocolate cravings?! Just because you’re eating healthy that does not mean you should restrict yourself from your favorite foods. Just tweak ‘em a bit!
This recipe is super chocolatey but has real ingredients that actually give you energy and important nutrients you won’t find in a chocolate bar. Craving more fruits or just want to make the dish look a bit more presentable? Add some of your favorite berries on top!

Servings: 1

• ½ small banana, frozen
• 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
• ½ cup milk (try almond, soy, or coconut!)
• 1 date, pitted

1. Put all ingredients into a high-powered blender and puree until smooth.



Swag of the Month


Stay Cool

Keep your beverages cool and your life cooler with this 4 pack of 100% neoprene can coolers. Texas orange neoprene with white imprint or denim-look neoprene with white imprint.