News: 15,000 Youth Join Phoenix Society & Project Paradigm in Fight Against Home Fires

Grand Rapids, MI (August 18, 2015)-- Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors together with Project Paradigm, a private foundation, announced that 15,000 youth aged 7 to 18 have signed up for The Paradigm Challenge, a new competition that inspires youth to affect positive change in the world.  The first annual Paradigm Challenge seeks original ideas to prevent injuries and fatalities from home fires—America’s #1 disaster threat.

“The number of youth who have stepped up to accept our Challenge to help save lives truly is inspiring,” said Jeff Richardson, Project Paradigm’s Founder and CEO.  “Normally, youth contests attract around 1,000 participants or less.  Thanks in large part to the support of our partners like the Phoenix Society, these youth are part of an exciting movement to make a difference.  We will continue to engage as many youth as possible by the May 1, 2016 entry deadline,” said Richardson. 

Participants in The Paradigm Challenge team up and use their creativity and kindness to help save lives by generating home fire prevention ideas.  The top 100 teams will win prizes ranging from $500 up to $100,000 from Project Paradigm.  The total prize pool of $250,000 will be used to reward the best ideas while helping youth chase their dreams.

"We urge the burn community to help engage the youth in their communities in this national effort to find innovative ways to reduce the loss of lives from home fires each day," said Amy Acton, Phoenix Society Executive Director. "Our belief is that if we engage our youth today, we will live in a safer world tomorrow."

Project Paradigm also engages and activates youth around home fire awareness through the hosting of monthly photo and video contests tied to fire safety. Youth upload their entries and ask friends and family to vote. The 10 entries with the most votes each month receive cash prizes from $100 to $1,000.

The Paradigm Challenge further engages youth by enlisting them as Ambassadors for the cause of home fire safety. Through The Paradigm Challenge Ambassador Program, youth help spread awareness about fire safety and The Challenge in a competition to win one of six trips to Los Angeles to attend The Challenge awards ceremony.

Paradigm Challenge partners include: the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, the American Red Cross, Burn Prevention Network, Children's Burn Foundation, Common Voices, Coolidge Fire Department, Eau Claire Fire Department, Finger Lakes Regional Burn Association, Inc., Firefighters Burn Institute, Home Fire Sprinkler Association, Hurley Trauma Center, Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, International Fire Service Training Association, Lisle-Woodridge Fire District, Madison Fire & Rescue, Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division, National Association of State Fire Marshals, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, National Fire Protection Association, National Youth Leadership Council, NC Department of Insurance, Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Rincon Valley Fire District, University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center, U.S Fire Administration, Vision 20/20, and Youth Service America.


People who suffer burn injuries often have a challenging time getting back to living. Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors helps them do exactly that. Since 1977, the Phoenix Society has worked with survivors, families, healthcare professionals, the fire industry and donors to support burn recovery, improve the quality of burn care, and prevent burn injuries. We are the only national non-profit organization helping survivors meet their challenges with the community support and the tools they need to thrive again.  Phoenix Society, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, takes its name from the legendary bird that is consumed by flame but rises again, more vibrant than before. To learn more, visit this space to share a few lines about your organization.

About Project Paradigm

Project Paradigm, a national private foundation headquartered in Los Angeles, California aims to identify, support, and collaborate with passionate individuals and organizations to inspire, lead, and facilitate paradigm shifts in the approaches to global challenges. Learn more at Or like us on Facebook.

About The Paradigm Challenge

The Paradigm Challenge is an annual competition developed by Project Paradigm to inspire youth to affect positive change in the world. The first annual challenge aims to generate new ideas to prevent injuries and fatalities from home fires—America’s #1 disaster threat. Youth aged 7 to 18 (as of May 1, 2015) are invited to accept The Challenge, build a team, become problem solvers, learn about home fires, and help save lives. Winners of The Paradigm Challenge will be selected by a Blue-Ribbon Panel based on efficacy, feasibility, originality, presentation, and collaboration. Members of the public will also vote for their favorite finalist.


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