Our Mission

ForeverU is a nonprofit organization that is empowering youth on their journey of mental health and wellness through personal development programs and experiences.


We were founded in 2012 by Ryan Hesslau, who at the time was only 16 years old, after researching the stories of students his age who had died by suicide. Their stories became his motivation for developing programs that would ensure that youth who were struggling had the resilience to keep living. Today, Ryan continues to lead ForeverU as the President and Executive Director.

Get in touch with Ryan:

The Vision

ForeverU's vision is to ensure that every teen within a community has access to mentorship, a supportive peer community, and opportunities for personal growth.


Board of Directors

Gwendolyn Sterk

Attorney and Team Leader

Sterk Family Law Group, P.C. 

Erik Maranto

Development Manger

American Lung Association of Chicago

Shetal Patel

Director of Operations

Aesthetica Day Spa

Amber Schnepp

School Psychologist

Bradley-Bourbonnais High School


Ryan Hesslau

Founder and Executive Director


Troy Griffiths

Certified Public Accountant

Troy W. Griffiths LLC

Dan McGonigle

Vice President

ORA Dental Partners

Kendra Zantingh

Professor of Human Resources

Trinity Christian College

Christina Skrip

Director of Assessment and Referral

Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital

Emily Shayman

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Lewis University

Scott Hullinger

Chief Executive Officer

Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital

Christian Perry

State Director of Community Development IL Criminal Justice Information Authority

Richard Hesslau

Senior Project Designer and Specialist

Sargent & Lundy LLC - Nuclear Div.

Dan Borowski

Central US Territory Manager

3M Commercial Solutions Division

Nathan Lagacy

Licensed Professional Counselor

Mental Edge Counseling

Disclaimer: ForeverU is classified as a youth development organization. Please know that our volunteers, employees, and representatives are not medical professionals. We are a community of individuals who are passionate about offering support and belonging to youth on their mental health journey. The information and programs we provide are meant to encourage and support students and is not meant to replace the advice or expertise of medical professionals.

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