My name is Lizzie and I have been involved with ForeverU for four years. I have been a camp counselor for ForeverU’s Camp Reset, as well as a volunteer for the Reset Weekends and other various events ForeverU has hosted. I got involved when I tagged alone with my partner to help out Ryan (ForeverU’s founder) at ForeverU’s first Camp Reset in the summer 2017. I had no idea what the camp was about or even what ForeverU was, but it quickly became one of the most influential communities I have ever been involved with.
The fall of 2017, I was going into my senior year of college. I was a Psychology major, intending to pursue graduate school for Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I reached out to Ryan Hesslau in order to inquire how I could get more involved with the organization, thinking that this would be a great organization to get more experience with mental health. I was able to get involved that next summer of 2018 with Camp Reset as a counselor. That week solidified that mental health advocacy and empowerment was one of my biggest passions. Getting involved with ForeverU changed me in the best ways possible. The teens that I have been connected with through this organization have impacted me more than they realized. I started that week expecting to have great conversations, teach the teens mental health awareness and empowerment, and make wonderful memories. Not only did I accomplish all of that, but I was also able to recognize my own worth. ForeverU gave me a place to recognize my own strengths and weaknesses, while allowing me to gain forever friendships, mentorships, and unforgettable experiences. I would not be where I am today without ForeverU, without the relationships I made, the cherished memories I have, and the situations I went through.
I would recommend ForeverU programs for anyone and everyone wanting to grow more in who they are. Becoming comfortable with your story, who you are, and advocating for yourself is a huge piece of these programs. The growth I have seen in each and every one of the teen members AND volunteers is immense and is hard to find a way to replicate that growth elsewhere. The work that ForeverU does with high schoolers is so important to their social-emotional learning. It helps this age demographic develop skills that make them better human beings in the world and better prepares them for future hardships.
I want to thank ForeverU, all the high schoolers, the other volunteers, and everyone who has donated or supported ForeverU in any way. Thank you for helping me discover who I am and who I want to be. Thank you for pushing me to a career that I adore and am good at. Thank you for everything. I would not be where I am today without ForeverU.