The CoreFire System

Donterrio (for left) leading a group of peers.

A Unique System

By Donterrio Tate When we talk about training thousands of youth, using the CoreFire system, that is real. I know this because I helped create the CoreFire system. If you asked me to show up at a gym or classroom to train 8 students, well I’d have no clue what to do. I’d rather not even try. It is not that I don’t care about my friends and neighbors. It’s just without an easy-to-use system in place, it would be a frustrating waste of time for everyone. On the other hand, working with a group of 8 students, using the CoreFire system we created, you can count me in because I have already experienced it.


The CoreFire System focuses on the power of play. To get 8 different people to work together, well it really helps if it is a fun game. Most people my age are pressured to rebel. With gamification, this is replaced with a desire to win the game. The peer pressure is now to help.

Most of the lessons in the CoreFire system come with the ability to access and record scores on your phone. But this system also works with Professionals. When I was in 10th grade, using our CoreFire system, I led many groups of professionals from companies like FedEx and AutoZone and they loved it. When the session was done, they gave the most positive comments. It was encouraging to know I could receive that kind of positive feedback from adults. But without having an organized, prepared, and gamified system, I could not lead a group of executives and supervisors through a training session.

Culture Shift

It helps when the younger students we are working with know I have delt with some of the same challenges they deal with. Through our Immersive Storylines, discussions about these issues come up. But if we are not having fun, on a simulated rescue mission, solving puzzles, working together, those discussions would not be as effective. For students who are struggling, an immersive experience creates a platform where they are more inclined to open up.

To work with youth, especially youth in tough neighborhoods, it has to be more fun than whatever else is going on down the street. And then it has to continue to be fun so they will keep coming back. Doesn’t matter if that is right or wrong, that is the way it is.

Donterrio Tate, Cinema Studies Major and Education Minor at Univ. of Tennessee, CoreFire Intern Trainer

Mentoring in Surrounding Neighborhoods

Consider the typical urban youth program which are run by adults. If one successful leader can inspire 10 youth to pursue a vocation, that would be a good year. Paying a full-time youth leader $35,000 a year, it would take $105 million dollars each year to inspire 30,000 students.

Consider the possibility of training and paying high school interns to mentor a team of 8 students. You can train 30,000 youth at a fraction of the cost of paying adults.

The other exciting thing about Vo-Zone’s run by Interns, when the Interns succeed, and they will succeed, the surplus income from ticket sales does not go to some board or stockholders, but rather goes to paying the Interns to extend the Vo-Zone programming into neighborhood community centers and schools. This will be a huge benefit to many neighborhoods in each Vo-Zone city.

When the Interns are trained at the Vo-Zone, their training includes how to facilitate robotics, engineering, leadership, drone technology, and other classes that will take place inside partnering locations.

This will work because we have successfully created our strategy of paying high school interns to teach teams of peer students using our revolutionary gamified system, supported with the CoreFire App. We have had over 50,000 youth experience this system. Using the income from ticket sales to the Vo-Zone provides the funding year in and year out. The Vo-Zone will lift whole communities by providing trained and paid Interns to mentor thousands of students at partnering locations throughout each Vo-Zone city.

Comments from Youth Participants at CoreFire Training Events:

South Park Elementary, “It was the funnest day of my life.”
Sherwood Middle School, “I have never had so much fun in my life!
Douglass High School, “I have never had this much fun.”
Craigmont Middle, “…most of all I loved how dedicated our coach was.”
Maddux Elem., “I wish we could come here every day!”
Dogwood Elem. “They taught you stuff in a fun way!”
American Way Mid. “I wish I could come here every week.”

Comments from Professionals at Teambuilding Events lead by Interns using the CoreFire System:

FedEx, “Best teambuilding I’ve been on.”
United Way, “Best team building EVER!!!”
Chick-fil-A, “Literally the coolest experience ever.”
Hosptial Wing, “Funnest thing I’ve done in a long time.”
Nike-Finance Dept., “Best team building event ever.”
Teach for America, “This was wickedly awesome!”
International Paper, “I’ve never experienced a team building event as unique as this one.”

Donterrio with former Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.

Comment from  Mayor Luttrell “The young mentors I met were an impressive group, so I am optimistic about your vision to leverage the outstanding qualities of these men and women to mentor youth.”