I am Program Manager of Frisco Young Entrepreneurs Academy
I am a mentor
I am passionate
I am inspiring students to design their futures
I am a family man
I am a champion of education
I am shaping tomorrow's leaders
I am creating opportunities
Why is Frisco such a great place to live and do business? Peter Burns, Program Manager of Young Entrepreneurs Academy, says, "It's a community dedicated to making dreams a reality."
From his early life in Kingston, Jamaica, Peter Burns embarked on a journey that would ignite his passion for education and ultimately bring him to Frisco, Texas, where he has become an influential leader and integral member of the community.
Today, Peter is the Program Manager of Frisco's Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), a board member of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce, Frisco Education Foundation, Frisco Public Art, and Junior Achievement of Dallas. He also serves on the Leadership Frisco Advisory Council, and is Chairman of Mindbender Academy, a youth STEM camp...and that's all in addition to his full-time position as Commercial Tendering Manager for Nokia North America.
Frisco's Young Entrepreneurs Academy has the distinction of being the first chapter to form in Texas, with the goal of bridging the gap between a community's education and business communities. "My real focus is to do whatever I can to impact a student early enough in their life so that they have a vision of where they want to go," says Peter. "It's easy to say, 'You can be a lawyer; you can be a doctor; you can be anything you want to be;' but we have to create that bridge to get them there."
YEA!'s program is designed for middle- and high school students, and guides them through every aspect of starting a business or social movement, from business plan development and pitching investors, to launching the venture, building a brand identity, e-commerce and web development, and even trade shows, all over the course of a school year. Unlike other simulation models, YEA! students exit the program with a fully formed and functioning business they can take into the real world.
Some of the notable endeavors that have emerged from Frisco's YEA! program are a technological device that allows blind and visually impaired individuals to travel safely, along with a concept that helps international students acclimate to American culture.
Peter's passion for educating and empowering youth comes from his own experience, having been lucky enough to have mentors early in his life. "I look back on the teachers and mentors that encouraged me to attend college and helped me develop certain skills, and I want to be able to do the same for others," says Peter. "I would hope adults don't look at our youth as the future. You've got to look at them as our 'now'—what can you do today to help them position themselves for success in the future?" To the youth, Peter shares this message, "If you have a desire to create something, just find someone who can help you navigate through the challenges. Once you learn how to do something, no one can ever take that away from you."
When speaking about Frisco, Peter adds, "There is something beautiful about Frisco that you will not understand until you get involved in the community. It is truly the people you meet in and around the city that make it such a special place." Frisco has certainly taken notice of Peter's contributions to the community. In 2017, he was honored as the Frisco Style magazine Person of the Year; in 2014, he was named the Frisco Chamber Citizen of the Year; and he was also a runner-up for the Dallas Cowboys Community Quarterback award.
Frisco is filled with passionate, dedicated citizens like Peter.