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Find hope, inspiration, healing and connection

Every year, we recognize and celebrate people that have emerged from life’s challenges stronger than before and used their experience to help the community. In 2023 we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Rising Phoenix Awards and we're really excited about it! If we can do so safely we'll gather in person and invite the Rising Phoenixes from the past three years - and we have big plans. Come celebrate the spirit of the Rising Phoenix in all of us!

We gather to celebrate people that:

Faced one or more extraordinary challenges in their life transitions;
Persevered, rose from the ashes, and were transformed in the process;
Did something to make a positive and lasting impact on the community.

How it works

1  Nominate

Anyone, anywhere can nominate somebody that inspired them and agrees to share their story. Use the button below to nominate your hero/heroine, we’ll get in touch with them to capture their story.

2  Evaluate

Every nominee story shared will be reviewed by our esteemed evaluations team to determine the Rising Phoenixes for the year and to decide which will be named the most hopeful, most inspirational, and most impactful.

3 Announce

Every January we announce the year’s Rising Phoenixes and post their stories for the world to see in order to share their light of hope and give inspiration to all that need it. It’s also a great time to showcase their programs and contributions to their local communities!

4 Gather, celebrate and connect!

Once a year we gather to hear the stories of the new Rising Phoenixes, honor and celebrate them, and present their awards. Whether you are shy or outgoing, new or familiar, we’ll have plenty of activities for you to have fun and connect with one another!

The official nomination period for the 2023 awards begins on October 1st, 2022 and ends December 31st.  Who has inspired you?  Nominate them today using the link above!

2023 Program Timeline

Oct 1st, 2022

Nominations begin

Dec 31st, 2022

Nominations end

Jan 16th, 2023

Rising Phoenixes announced

Mar 18, 2023

10th annual awards ceremony

Meet our evaluators

The evaluator team is made up of community volunteers that have strong perspective in major life challenges from their own experiences, and they typically run organizations or programs that serve people in transition. Many were past-year Rising Phoenixes themselves that want to continue giving back to the community.

Dominique Burns, PhD

2017 Rising Phoenix. Licensed Professional Counselor. Victim advocate for Project Women of Ohio.

David Bush

2017 Rising Phoenix. Founder of the MADD Poets Society.

Kevin Myers

2015 Rising Phoenix. Founder of the FAP/Lynch Syndrome Support Group.

Leah Myers

2013 Rising Phoenix. Founder/director of the TILC Creative Emergence Center.

Callan Loo

2022 Rising Phoenix. Founder and Executive Director of The Intentional Living Collective.

Neil Simon

Founder and President of Business Development Group. Co-founder of The Rising Phoenix Awards.​

Judy Wentzel

2017 Rising Phoenix. Author of Light from the Cage: 25 Years in a Prison Classroom.

Dr. Celia Williamson

Executive Director, University of Toledo Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.

Evaluations Criteria

Degree of difficulty.

What major life transitions or events did the nominee encounter as part of their journey?

Personal transformation demonstrated.

To what degree does the nominee demonstrate transformation as a result of their transitions or events?

Impact on community.

As a result of their transformation, what action(s) did the nominee take to help the community and what was the social impact of their actions?

Meet this year’s program and event sponsors

Top Ranked Users

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