Common Interests Build Rapport | Relevance Delivers Hope

Who We Are

Ignite U1 is the domestic platform of Ignite International, Inc., whose aim is to impact lives through the universal language of sport. Since 2003, Ignite has left its mark in more than a dozen nations by pairing participation with conversation that inspires our attendees to pursue their created purpose. Ignite U1 brings this impact home to confront the epidemic of trauma facing our youth.

Ignite U1 events flow between two areas of focus:

  1. An activity module that builds a natural rapport through relational participation
  2. A dialogue module with interactive real talk led by those who have "been there"
Join us at an Ignite U1 event near you! Contact us for more information!
The Ignite U1 Story
From opposite origins toward a purposeful vision
The same grace that saves one keeps another.
Ignite You First (Ignite U1) launched in 2019 as the primary domestic platform of Ignite International, Inc. The Ignite U1 leadership team consists of Ignite Founder and President, Judy Fox, and Associate Program Director, Katie Phipps.

A chain is as strong as its weakest link. Likewise a mission is as strong as the bond between its leaders. Ignite U1 reflects a random convergence of vision for two paths of opposite origins. Judy's journey is lined with decades of impact through sport while Katie's with endurance through the storms of life.

Within the uniqueness of the introduction lies the evidence of divine direction having led Judy and Katie to not only a profound friendship, but a purposeful mission to deliver hope to those affected by the epidemic of trauma facing our youth.

See the story below.
How Did Judy and Katie Meet?
It was, without a doubt, random in every sense of the word. In April 2018, having no prior knowledge of the case, Judy happened to watch the episode of Dateline NBC that featured Katie's journey. In her words, "Obviously in a program like Dateline, there is a family who has experienced a tragic loss. Of course, I have great compassion toward their reality, but it was the story within the story that wouldn't let go."

A seasoned coach and though her own life would be self-described as "squeaky clean and pretty easy", Judy had walked with many young women through crises. As she watched the drama unfold, she found herself "...captivated by the contrast. In the first hour, a young woman was portrayed whose life clearly had been dealt a tough hand. The contrast of that with the inspiring, well-spoken, settled woman of hour #2 was clear evidence to me of the hand of divine purpose on the remarkable individual on my tv screen."

Judy was moved. Inspired.

Twelve days later, Judy sensed the inner voice of guidance urging her to reach out to Katie. Her message included "...I am inspired by your perseverance" and did not ask for nor expect a response. But within a couple hours, Katie replied. They met a few weeks later, and throughout the following year, a bond of friendship grew.
How did Ignite U1 start?
Judy had been thoughtfully considering "what is to be" the unique domestic niche for Ignite International. Meanwhile, Katie has felt both an increasing awareness of the power of hope that she carries and a stirring to share her journey with those enduring similar circumstances to those through which she has come.

This time it was Katie who reached out to Judy. Ideas quickly became synergy. Synergy became vision. Vision became Ignite You First. Here we are.
What about the name Ignite You First (Ignite U1)?
Katie sent Judy a text message with a photo on which was the quote above Judy's bio.

"What you wish to ignite in others must first burn within yourself."

By the next morning, Ignite You First was "it" and signifies the following:

  • Before you can ever help someone else, change must take place in you first.
  • You cannot undo cycles of the past. But you can create a new future. It begins with you first.
  • You became what you are because it's the only example you knew, OR you didn't have any example and had to figure out life by trial and error. You can be the example your kids need. It starts with you first.
  • The only reason a possibility even exists to love God is because He loved...you first.
How did it become Ignite U1?
When you have come out the other side, and you get to see your story bring hope to another, in that moment you will find that though you may have walked through the darkest of hell… in the end U 1.

If you didn't catch that, say it again until you do. "...in the end, U 1."
Meet Our Leaders
From a most unique intersection of paths of opposite origins began a like-minded, purposeful vision
Judy Fox
Founder & President, Ignite International, Inc.
Judy is the face of Ignite International, Inc. and the primary voice of our brand. She brings a reputation for integrity, organization and detail, and has decades of experience maintaining depth of relationships with partners, supporters and participants. If you would like to be involved with Ignite U1, send Judy an email.
Katie Phipps
Associate Program Director
Katie is the inspiration behind Ignite U1. She brings professional expertise, strategic leadership and experiential relevance to both program planning and implementation. Katie provides primary oversight to the application and decision-making process for speakers and mentors desiring to serve with us.
What you wish to ignite in others must first burn within yourself
~ Aurelius Augustinus ~
Meet Judy
Founder & President, Ignite International
A former NCAA Division I volleyball coach, Judy Fox's 30-year impact through sport is evidenced by her induction into four halls of fame. In 2003, Judy founded Ignite International, Inc. She is a visionary partner to several global sport organizations and has personally mentored hundreds of athletes. Judy's fingerprint extends from national teams to schools, youth detention facilities, children's homes, programs for the disabled and for the elderly. She played a key leadership role in these historic "firsts":

  • First volleyball and first women's basketball teams to ever visit Nicaragua from the USA
  • First female athlete in Nicaragua's history to receive a scholarship to a university in the USA.
  • First athletic team to reenter Liberia after the civil war ended
  • First women's soccer group to ever visit Liberia
  • First volleyball initiative that empowers marginalized females in the Holy Land
  • ....and more....
Judy is the face of Ignite International and the organizational voice for Ignite U1. Her attention to details stamps vision with excellence. Her lifetime of sustained relationships opens doors. Judy defines her greatest moments as those in which she sets the stage for worthy voices to be heard, creating opportunity where there might otherwise be none. Ignite U1, like Ignite International, reflects Judy's personal mantra, "It's all about relationship." Read Judy's complete bio here...

The paradox of trauma is that it has both the power to destroy and the power to transform and resurrect.
~ Peter Levine ~
Meet Katie
Associate Program Director
Raised in a fatherless home with her only consistent mentors the harsh trio of trauma, trial and error, Katie Phipps personifies the power to overcome. As her mother strove through severe addiction and alcoholism, Katie endured homelessness and trauma. As a teen, while her peers prepared for college, Katie prepared to bring her second child into the world. In her twenties life went for the knockout as Katie was wrongfully charged with a significant crime. She spent 15 months in jail insistent of her innocence until evidence the prosecution assumed would ensure her conviction, instead affirmed her insistence. Destiny would not be denied. Katie was released.

This chapter of life, though excruciating, led Katie to an intersection with purpose and birthed a new future. She is now completing her degree in Legal Studies with plans to attend law school to become a criminal defense attorney. The prosecutor who charged Katie has not only emphatically and very publicly apologized, but has also offered compelling support toward her aspirations. Katie's case has been featured by Dateline NBC, The Real Story with Maria Elena Salinas - Investigation Discovery, and Killer Affair - Oxygen Network.

Katie is the inspiration behind Ignite You First. Her experiences offer relevance. Her professional expertise provides strategic leadership. Her authenticity leaves an undeniable impact. She is a captivating communicator cased within the beauty of gracious strength. Katie is the evidence of the paradox, choosing resurrection rather than accepting fate as a statistic.
And to think, some of life's best stories haven't even begun ~ Anonymous
Help Us Ignite Generational Cycles of Hope
You can help break the cycle of trauma and impact tomorrow's influencers. Your support helps future leaders discover purpose and experience freedom from the inside out.
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