Ryan Hesslau serves as the President & Executive Director of the 501(c)(3) youth development organization ForeverU. As a high school sophomore, Ryan Hesslau founded ForeverU in 2012 after researching the stories of students his age who had died by suicide due to life circumstances that went unseen. Their stories became his motivation for developing a creative solution to ensure that youth who were struggling had the resilience to keep living. Today, the organization is empowering youth on their mental health journey through personal development programs.
During Ryan's time leading the organization, he has worked directly with school counselors throughout Illinois as an effort to connect their students to ForeverU's programs and services. After many years of working in partnership these school counselors, Ryan became concerned by the gap between students and support services.
Seeing this as an opportunity for innovation, Ryan founded the technology company Above the Waves in 2017 that is simplifying how our school system prioritizes the mental health and safety needs of students.Ryan continues to lead the company today as the Chief Executive Officer.