In 2001 the Clayton family began cooking homemade meals and serving them to the Birmingham homeless population twice monthly. Ryan was only 6 years old but enjoyed helping cook, talking and praying with those who were experiencing hard times.
In the 2nd grade Ryan was tested academically on a college level in reading and 9th grade math level. Ryan was entered into the gifted program and continued testing above average throughout his high school and college career; he played football, basketball, golf and he was an avid baseball player. Ryan eventually decided to become a chef, setting a precedent for those around him to pursue their passion and purpose.
Ryan’s Hope Foundation began as a plan between Ryan, his mother, grandmother and sister, to create the Clayton Family Foundation/The City of Hope; assisting the underserved areas of the Birmingham, Alabama Community.
The original foundation plan included a restaurant and culinary training academy, which would provide certification to young men and women who are passionate about the culinary field.
This plan stemmed from the family’s unformalized practice of giving back to the community. The plan was finalized and emailed to each family member on May 13, 2020 for approval; on May 14, 2020 Ryan Clayton was senselessly murdered.
The name was then changed to Ryan’s Hope Foundation and dedicated to providing necessary services to build character in youth and provide the resources, exposure, and tools necessary to help them thrive.