Ryan Poe was born on March 18th 1982 in Boise, ID. He was raised in a stable, loving family environment and exposed to many unique experiences.
Ryan was an average, spirited young man who religiously collected baseball cards as a youngster. He loved to play baseball and was usually the first one to practice, anxious to get started. Countless hours in the backyard were spent playing catch with his dad.
He was a very bright youngster and usually achieved good grades, his parents referred to him as a walking encyclopedia. Another favorite activity was backpacking into Idaho’s rugged backcountry, where he and his dad would fish at remote hidden-away lakes and streams.
Ryan was exposed to aviation at a very early age and traveled with his dad to many locations around the country, involved with aerobatic competitions and air shows. He frequently filled the role of his dad’s co-pilot and was very good at the controls of a variety of airplanes. He loved to fly and his dream was to become a pilot.
As a teenager, Ryan began to change. His grades fell, and his enthusiasm for sports and other activities he used to love became nonexistent. He was distant and detached. One day, he came to his parents and told them that he had become a heroin addict. Many efforts were made, including rehabilitation programs. Ryan even became involved with authorities to help fight the drug problem in his area. In the end, however, the addiction was too powerful, and in August of 2002, Ryan lost his battle and died at the age of twenty.
Ryan was no different than any other normal, exciting young person. He lived in an average town, seemingly far away from such a horrible influence. The sad truth is, there is no place that is immune to these evil things, and we all have a responsibility to our children to protect them.
The Ryan J. Poe Foundation was established in the hope that other youngsters like Ryan will focus on their dreams and find their passions in life. The best defense is knowledge and the realization that the good things in their lives far outweigh the bad, and that they are in complete control of their destinies and happiness. Their future is a choice, and with good guidance and fearless determination, they will have a chance to reach their dreams.