Budding Golf Star Priest James Rivera Overcame a Life-Threatening Injury to Find His “Burn Moment”

The teen now has a motivational podcast & charitable foundation

CARLSBAD, Calif., June 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Priest James Rivera, founder of Burn Factory LLC, had his life turned upside down at the age of 13 when a science experiment conducted by his sixth-grade teacher went terribly wrong and caught him on fire. He was rushed to UCSD Hospital, placed in ICU, and was given a 50% chance of survival. He persevered through his injuries when he decided to get out of the hospital bed and began putting three balls a day into a glass jar. Outlets like CBS have covered his incredible story. 

Since this life-changing event, Priest has expanded his mission far beyond being a competitive golfer. Upon reflection on his time in the hospital, he came up with a way to help others struggling with traumatic injuries, and The Priest James Foundation was born. Proceeds for the Priest James Foundation go towards donating putting greens to hospitals and others to help people recovering from devastating illnesses or accidents to heal through the sport of golf.

Along with his brother Phenix, Priest also founded a podcast called the Burn Factory, which was named after his “Burn Moment,” that point of no return where we decide to turn our burning pain into success and triumph. His powerful story has already attracted many megastars, the likes of the NFL legend Michael Vick, UFC Champion Brandon Moreno, and Boxing World Champions Fernando Vargas and Shawn Porter, to open up about their burn moments on his podcast – the Burn Factory. Since its launch in late December 2022, the Burn Factory Podcast has surpassed 100,000 downloads.

About Priest:

Priest Riviera, at the time a promising young golf star, only 13, was severely burned when he was caught on fire after a black snake experiment in his science class conducted by his science teacher took a turn for the worse. He was rushed to UCSD Medical Center and spent some time in the ICU, undergoing multiple surgeries with a 50% chance of surviving.

Priest later coined this memory as his “Burn Moment,” the catalyst for his healing that allowed him to get to where he is today. Though he was given a 50% chance of survival, Priest recovered well and created the Priest James Foundation, which installs putting greens in hospitals: medical facilities, and other areas. With the Foundation, he hopes to inspire others to find strength and determination in moments of hardship. His goal is to create a movement where he and other athletes, celebrities, entertainers, and many other public figures share their “Burn Moments” that they have to “fight” through to persevere to get them where they are today. So, he also started a Podcast, and YouTube Channel called the “Burn Factory,” which is co-hosted by his brother, Phenix, who is 19 years old. The Podcast is filmed in a studio in California and Las Vegas.

Learn more at:

Burn Factory Instagram
Burn Factory YouTube
Burn Factory Apple
Burn Factory Spotify
Priest James Foundation

Media Contact:
Jason Rivera
(719) 459-1299


SOURCE Burn Factory LLC