Foster Youth Mentor

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Scholarship Fund


The Lena Ryman Scholarship Fund is in memory of one of our original foster youth mentors, Lena Ryman.  Lena had a passion for foster youth and it was her desire to contribute to their success by creating a  scholarship fund. Due to her generosity, her legacy includes a scholarship committed to helping foster youth fulfill their higher education dreams and goals.  This scholarship may be used for tuition, books, school supplies, and living expenses.


* $5,000 scholarship endowment will be awarded to students applying to community college, state college, private college, or a trade school.

* Eligible applicants are current or former foster youth ages 17 to 26. 

* Must be enrolled in at least one Just in Time program or resources. Just in Time helps foster youth 18-26 transitioning out of the foster care system.

For more information on how to apply contact us at [email protected]

We want to thank Lena Ryman for HER heart for foster youth and her generosity to start this fund. You will be missed, but your legacy continues on!!!!!


Lena Ryman’s love for the Lord, her heart for young people, and her lifelong passion to make a positive difference in people’s lives led her to establish the Lena Ryman Foster Youth Scholarship Fund.

Lena was born in a suburb of Chicago to immigrant parents from Sweden. She had one sister. Though her family struggled financially through her childhood, they were always charitable and helpful to those in need, especially neighborhood children and stray animals. Her parents also instilled in her a strong work ethic, something that served her well throughout her life.

Dance was Lena’s passion as a young girl; she danced ballet on pointe and dreamed of dancing professionally. After high school, she chose a more traditional direction and obtained a business degree from the University of Illinois. Realizing that she truly missed dancing, she began using her gifts to teach aerobics in her free time. Through that experience, she resolved to pursue a career in the fitness field with the ultimate goal of helping people improve their health and attain their fitness goals. 

Though Lena was raised in church, she admits she did not have a personal relationship with Christ during those years. While in college, a friend reintroduced her to Christ and shortly after that, she recommitted her life to him. As she began walking closely with God, she came to understand that He had a plan for her life.

In 1996, Lena moved to San Diego, where she began her own personal fitness training business.  She found incredible fulfillment and success in this career, using her God-given gifts and passions to pour into the lives of a diverse clientele for more than 20 years. She gives God the glory for all of it.  "God put me in the right place at the right time to meet the right people."

Lena was introduced to the Rock Church’s Step Up Foster Youth Mentor Ministry when it was first established and became one of the ministry’s first mentors. She immediately recognized it as a perfect opportunity to work with young people with some of the greatest need for adult guidance and friendship. Through the orientation and training process, she realized that young males had the greatest need for mentors. By choice, she was matched with a bright 10-year-old boy who was a whiz with numbers.  It took time to break down some emotional barriers, but once she did, they had a strong bond and a great relationship. Their favorite activities were hiking and going to church together. During one of their weekly visits, Lena watched in awe as her mentee gave his last cent to a homeless man. “He was selfless and empathetic to the pain of another and he could not turn away,” Lena reflected. Looking back on the whole experience, Lena understands that God used her and this powerful one-on-one mentoring program to have a life-changing impact on the life of her mentee – a truly legacy impact!

Lena shares the following sentiment with the future recipients of her legacy scholarship:

"Even though you don't know me and I don't know you, I am happily smiling down on you from heaven."

Lena’s favorite Bible Verse: Prov 3:5 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

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