A dynamic part of the Wednesday Life Shop crew, an energetic veteran participant in After Opps, and a steadfast attendee at OK events, Ryan Gravely is an extremely dedicated and hard-working Warrior.

Ryan’s commitment to the cause combined with her cheerful spirit has earned her this year’s Brian Jones Warrior of the Year Award!

“She uplifts everybody around her with her positive energy, sense of humor, and thoughtfulness,” said After Opps Director Dan Scherer-Emunds.

Ryan turned 22 last year and graduated from the OPRF CITE Program, but has not slowed down. Outside of the Knocks, she holds down jobs in the community at Happy Apple Pie Shop and SPENGA. She also embodies the Warrior Wellness component of the OK Mission, attending many of our annual wellness events and taking good care of herself.

“I really respect her healthy lifestyle choices,” said Life Shop Director Kim Meares. “She also makes the BEST salads!”

Warrior Sonya Taylor said Ryan deserves the award “because she cares about people.”

Congratulations Ryan!


Each year at the Gala we honor the most outstanding Warrior in Opportunity Knocks programs. The award is named after Brian Jones, an original OK Warrior who passed away in 2012 and whose light and legacy lives on through all of us. 

The purpose of this award is to recognize the Warrior who has been most exceptional over the course of the past year. All staff members and previous Warrior of the Year winners had the chance to nominate a deserving candidate. Things we consider are how this nominee may have best exemplified our core program goals as well as our 6-point Way of the Warrior philosophy.

Our core program goals that we integrate into all of our daily activities throughout all programs include:

  • Voice
  • Interdependence
  • Experience
  • Wellness
  • Social

Also, all Warriors, volunteers, and staff are committed to embodying the Way of the Warrior while at Opportunity Knocks. This 6-point philosophy includes:

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Respect
  • Communication
  • Safety
  • Wellness

Ryan has strongly represented these goals and qualities and truly exemplifies the word Warrior!