Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of organization is FOREVERU classified as?


FOREVERU is classified as a youth development organization.




When was FOREVERU founded?


FOREVERU was founded in 2012 by Ryan Hesslau at only sixteen years old after learning about a local high school student who had unfortunately died by suicide. This tragedy prompted Ryan to begin researching the stories of other young people who also lost their battle to an underlying mental health condition. After collecting concerning statistics about how often young people died by suicide, Ryan became determined to bring knowledge about mental health to the forefront of local communities, normalize the conversations about mental health altogether, and create a robust program model that would help youth who are struggling find the resilience to keep living. Since graduating in 2018 with a B.S. in Entrepreneurial Management, Ryan has continued to lead FOREVERU as our President and Chief Executive Officer, while also an active M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling student.




What is the mission of FOREVERU?


FOREVERU® (pronounced forever-you) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping teenagers write the next chapter of their life story through personal growth experiences. We believe that no matter what trials or life adversities a young person may be challenged by, they deserve local access to high-quality mentorship, uplifting peer communities, and transformative program experiences tailored to their individualized needs and aspirations.




What services does FOREVERU offer?


FOREVERU offers a transformative two-part program journey to teens in 7-12 grade. Our program model aims to emower youth with the cognitive skills and tools for growing mental resilience, accelerating character development, improving self-esteem, and igniting an internal desire for personal achievement. Our program is ideal for adolescents open to positive growth and change and can take responsibility for their own learning and development. Learn more about the program at www.joinforeveru.org/getstarted.




How does a teen or family get started in FOREVERU?


New teens and families interested in joining FOREVERU are invited to schedule an On-Ramp Session at our Admissions Office in New Lenox, IL with an Enrollment Counselor. These meetings will educate families on our program model, help us understand the goals and needs of the teen, and create a comfortable space to get any questions answered. If we believe our program is a good fit for the teen, we will begin the onboarding process. Go to www.joinforeveru.org/getstarted to book your meeting.




Is there a cost to the FOREVERU program?


We believe every student deserves the opportunity to participate in our program. The first two parts of our program model are entirely free to all students, and we work to fulfill 100% of financial aid requests for our overnight camps offered in the summer months.




How can I financially support the mission of FOREVERU?


FOREVERU is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping teenagers write the next chapter of their life story through personal growth experiences. We believe that no matter what trials or life adversities a young person may be challenged by, they deserve local access to high-quality mentorship, uplifting peer communities, and transformative program experiences tailored to their individualized needs and aspirations. Your financial support will allow us to present our two-part program experience to local teens in need of hope and belonging at no cost to the teen or their family. If you would like to further your impact on a recurring basis, consider becoming a MyHero member starting at $10 per month. You can learn more about financial giving at www.joinforeveru.org/donate.




What kind of training do FOREVERU mentors go through?


Once a prospective mentor submits their application, we will review the application, contact the provided references, and complete a thorough background check. The background check we conduct includes a Department of Justice sex offender search, a national criminal search, a current county of residence search, and a terrorist watchlist search. If we believe an applicant is a good fit for our program, they will be invited to schedule an interview with our team. If selected as a mentor, the applicant must then complete our certification program, facilitated and overseen by mental health professionals affiliated with our organization. The certification program mentors must complete integrates training on our program policies and procedures, mental health first aid, crisis intervention, implicit bias, diversity and inclusion, addressing sensitive topics, and effectively serving as a role model for our students. You can learn more at www.joinforeveru.org/volunteer.




Does FOREVERU have a display booth I can bring to my school?


Yes, we do! Please send an email to contact@joinforeveru.org with the subject line "School Meetup Opportunitity". We will contact you with more details.




Is FOREVERU a religious or faith-centered organization?


No, our organization is not a religious group or organization, nor do we have any affiliation with a religous group or organization.




Can FOREVERU be used as a replacement for counseling services?


No. While we work closely with medical and licensed mental health professionals, it is crucial to note that our volunteers, employees, and representatives are not medical or mental health professionals providing individualized treatment. Therefore, FOREVERU can be utilized as an extension or “add-on” resource by adolescents undergoing professional treatment or receiving formal counseling services from a licensed mental health professional. The program we provide is meant to encourage and support adolescents and not meant to replace the advice or expertise of medical professionals.