Alright, alright, alright... Let's talk about Camila and Matthew's just keep livin' foundation
In case you aren’t already familiar, meet The just keep livin’ Foundation – A 501(c)(3) foundation founded in 2008 by Matthew and Camila McConaughey that implements after-school fitness programs in 45 inner city high schools / sites and programs that empower students to make healthier choices for themselves by providing them with the tools to do so!
The program employs 84 teachers in 45 high schools in a program that serves almost 3,000 students in 15 cities — The vast majority of the kids from families that fall below the poverty line.
Any student can participate in the four-hour-per-week curriculum, which includes aerobic exercise and yoga, nutrition tips, weekend service projects, and a regular “gratitude circle,” a take on a dinner table ritual from Matthew McConaughey’s own childhood.
Image credit Town and Country
WOT is JKL’s Mission?
The just keep livin’ Foundation implements after school fitness and wellness programs in 45 inner city high schools/sites. In our programs, they encourage students to make positive life choices that improve their physical and mental health through exercise, teamwork, gratitude, nutrition and community service. Participating students have a safe place to enhance their lives with fitness coaches and health experts. The results have been incredible. Participants get in shape and gain confidence while also improving their grades, attendance and behavior. Friendships are built and fears are overcome. At our just keep livin’ (JKL) after school programs, kids learn self-reliance and get a healthy start today, so they can make a better tomorrow.
The JKL Story
While filming Dazed and Confused, Matthew McConaughey was struggling with the passing of his father. It was during this time that he was overtaken by a saying that would guide his life: “just keep livin’.”
As he moved forward, he found that the just keep livin’ approach helped him navigate through the good times and bad times, stay true to his ideals, and make the best out of this adventure called life. When Matthew and Camila established the foundation, naming it “just keep livin’” was a natural fit.
It captured so many aspects of health and well-being and applied to all facets of life. They included his father on the logo in remembrance of the saying’s origin.
WOT Does JKL Do?
JKL has set up fitness and wellness programs in 45 Title 1 high schools, serving 3,000 students whose families fall below the poverty line and might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about the body and mind connection.
By focusing on fitness, nutrition, wellness and community the students develop skills to help them to create a better tomorrow and thrive throughout the rest of their lives. We cultivate a sense of community and provide a safe place to grow, combating isolation. Studies show that social interactions and emotional support help to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression, while increasing calmness and happiness.
“It is hard to pick one important lesson I have learned from JKL as there are so many, but here I’ll choose the power of community service and gratitude on younger generations. Our students show up on a Sunday morning to do community service feeling inspired and share that they never thought they could help others because of their circumstances but by doing this work, they have learned anyone can make a positive impact. The gratitude effect goes beyond saying, except that I didn’t realize how that simple portion of the program helps create such community, fellowship, and ripple effects in the kids’ lives!”
This Giving Tuesday, the JKL students were asking to design a holiday t-shirt with “gratitude is the attitude” in mind! The student design winner is Jocelyn Guerrero hailing from Animo Inglewood Charter High School. Her inspiration for the shirt can be read below and ALL proceeds from purchase of this t-shirt will go directly to the just keep livin’ Foundation. GET YOUR SHIRT HERE!
Jocelyn Guerrero’s Inspiration:
“I was greatly inspired by the theme which was “gratitude is the attitude”, and I knew that I was going to create something which would both show and embody that slogan. I wanted the front of the shirt to include both gratitude but also the classic Just Keep Livin logo. I created the front based on the original JKL logo but with a twist. I added a symbol which represents gratitude to go along with the theme. On the back I wanted to represent gratitude and inclusivity, as I believe those two things are greatly important and represented in this program. I decided to add different sets of hands forming a heart in the back because to me it represents the love that we have for this program and for each other. It represents how important it is to accept each other, work together, and how grateful we are to be a part of JKL. I wanted the quote “Gratitude is the Attitude” directly onto the shirt somewhere to represent the main topic of the shirt. This led me into making the decision of adding it onto the back of the shirt in the middle of my image. The quotes placement is meant to show that gratitude is what JKL is all about, and how we all strive to maintain good attitudes during and outside of the program. The placement also shows how grateful my peers and I are to be getting the amazing opportunity of being a part of the just keep livin’ Foundation.”