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 to overcome adversity by offering personal development programs to 7-12 grade students that equip them to face life's greatest challenges and obstacles. During Ryan's time leading the organization, he developed a program model he calls the "ENS Model" - everyone needs someone. Through this model, he made it a priority to ensure that every student they served in the organization had someone they could turn to when faced with times of distress or adversity.
This model became the catalyst for Ryan’s next mission – to create technology that would simplify how our world prioritized mental health and safety needs across educational and professional sectors. In his junior year of college in 2017, Ryan founded the technology company Above the Waves and continues to lead it today as the Chief Executive Officer.