My name is Nathaniel and I have been a part of the ForeverU family since 2018 following my first summer camp after my junior year in high school. I remember it was the second year they were hosting their summer camp at Trinity Christian College. I had been considering attending Trinity at that time and thought it would be an amazing way to spend a week on the campus, while also using that time to figure out where I wanted to go next in life. But it turned out to be so much more than that! I met the amazing people that were part of ForeverU that week and it truly changed my life for the better. They welcomed me into a supportive community and made me feel like I was one of their own. Amazing people like Ryan, who I got to know personally, helped me feel engaged with the organization even though I lived an hour north from most of the students.


From the different program activities I participated in, ForeverU taught me to be me. Each of the program experiences were powerful and they changed my life. I went into that week scared and feeling alone and I came out feeling empowered, like I could take on the whole world.


In fact, a purpose statement that I wrote at one of ForeverU’s camps still hangs on my wall as an encouragement to keep going. I still remember the reflection night from that particular camp, all of us sitting together and reading our purpose statements by candlelight. How powerful it was to watch people who I had barely known a week before, care so much for me!


But that was not the only part of ForeverU that I have kept with me to this day. ForeverU was also where I learned how to journal effectively. In fact, I filled up 20 full pages just from one of the camps I attended! I was able to find my own unique style that suited me, and I use it to this day.


I would 150% recommend ForeverU to anyone who really wants to see their life changed. I went from not being able to talk in front of people, to loving every bit of it. The community that surrounds this place is authentic. Everything about Ryan and his wonderful organization has changed my life for the better and I would totally go back and tell all my friends about it.


To wrap this up, ForeverU was a life-changing experience that cracked my shell and showed me that I can be loved and cared for by others who started out as strangers and ended up my friends. ForeverU showed me that I don’t have to take things on by myself – I can rely on others to help me through my tough times. I no longer worry about what tomorrow brings because I know I have people who watch my back. I now feel free to be myself, someone who I was afraid to show for all these years.


Thank you for helping me to find me and to keep being me through this amazing organization!


Sincerely,

Nathaniel, ForeverU Alumni Member


My name is Ashley and I have been involved with ForeverU since my sophomore year of high school. I am currently a ForeverU Influencer, alumni member, and I was a 2020 summer intern. I got involved with the organization in 2017 after a student from one of the local high schools took his own life.


This led to me wanting to spread awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. When I started my journey with ForeverU, I direct messaged Ryan Hesslau and shared how I wanted to make a change. So, Ryan, my mom, my friend Abby, and I all met up at a Starbucks. After our conversation, I knew right away that I wanted to be part of the mission at ForeverU. I attended their first camp in July of 2017 and that is when my life forever changed. I met some of the best people I will ever know. All the mentors through the years have made such a significant impact on my life and I now have a second family that appreciates me for who I am.


ForeverU has helped me acknowledge that having a hard time and coping with those hard times is essential. Embracing change is also something that I have learned to grow in. Growth is critical through the healing process of anything someone goes through; this makes the person better in my opinion.


I have gained so many opportunities through ForeverU. One of which was providing me with my first internship experience that introduced me to program development, project planning, and allowed me to see the “behind the scenes” at ForeverU.


I was also honored with being selected as a “ForeverU Influencer” which is something that is so important to me. As an influencer, I have the opportunity to participate in a local ForeverU peer group and help support a new generation of students involved with ForeverU.


I’ve come to realize the importance of giving youth access to a supportive community; I experienced it first hand. Knowing that I have a group of people behind me is something that I am forever grateful for. My life has changed so much by being in ForeverU. I have learned that my worth and my mental health is important and that it is valued. I now have people in my life who want me to succeed even when I may push them away. ForeverU has made me a better person and has made me express myself for who I am.


I recommend ForeverU programs because it works for anyone. It creates a safe space for students who may not have that at home, at school, or whatever other situation. ForeverU sets students up to succeed and give them coping skills that will help them later in life. I am still using many of the things I learned in ForeverU to this day.


Sincerely,

Ashley, ForeverU Influencer and Alumni Member


My name is Skylar and I’ve been involved with ForeverU for four years. I’m now a ForeverU alumni member, influencer, and 2020 summer intern. I got involved in May 2017, my sophomore year of high school when my life got flipped upside down; my best friend took his life on our second day of finals.


Following that event, there was a gathering organized at a local park to commemorate him, and that was when I found out about the organization and learned about the camp that was taking place in July. The camp was where I met some of the most influential people in my life, that has now become my ForeverU family. Following the camp, I got involved in the weekly peer groups where we got to go and discuss our challenges each week and learn new skills that would help us navigate our path of life. Without this organization, I don’t think I would have made it as far as I have come. This organization and all who are involved made it possible for me to grow into a better version of myself, a version of myself that is more confident, resilient, and transparent. I’ve learned that my story is something worth sharing, and I have the best support system I could ask for. Being part of this organization has taught me so much about sustaining a balance in life, it has taught me to find myself and listen to my intuition. I have been taught skills that have now been implemented into my day to day life. I recommend everyone to get involved in some way because it teaches you how to live your story confidently and provides a great support system. Thank you for giving me opportunities to change my life for the better, thank you for giving me a strong support system, and thank you for helping me become comfortable with sharing my story.  Sincerely, Skylar, ForeverU Alumni Member

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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