A Mentor Who Inspires
By: Olivia Xiao, Catalina Zuo
Olympic athlete Carl Lewis once said, “It’s all about the journey, not the outcome”. Success is commonly defined by one’s achievements, but the greatest amount of growth comes from failures, individual perseverance, and relationships. On March 20th, 2022, YES invited Peter Burns, military veteran and CEO of the Bridge Delivery Service. In this meeting, Mr. Burns shares his own journey to success, and highlights an important part of his journey: mentors.
Mr. Burns was born in Jamaica, then moved to the United States when he was 12 years old. Living in the U.S., Mr. Burns had to overcome challenges to adapt to his new life. Through these difficulties, he gained a lot through his experiences, and realized the importance of mentors who recognize traits that you don’t see in yourself. Mr. Burn’s mentors include his math teacher, who encouraged him to participate in math competitions, his mom, who helped him persist in football, and a librarian who told him to go to college.
Perhaps the mentor that made the most direct impact to his success was the librarian. Mr. Burns’s family did not intend for him to go to college, but he eventually decided to take two computer science classes. Using this knowledge and curiosity, he learned how to operate switches during his time in the military. His expertise in technology was awarded with promotions in the military. Because of his mentors, Mr. Burns became who he is today. And today, he continues to inspire those around him to keep going in the face of challenges. Mr. Burns left us with three takeaways: find trustworthy friends that hold you accountable, listen to mentors that help you grow, and do not be afraid to fail.
After the keynote speech from Mr. Burns, YES members got into their groups for the Launch Program and continued developing ideas. Members had shared some of their ideas at the start of the meeting, and many of the ideas were promising and innovative, like a sleep tracker and hydroelectric vehicles. With Mr. Burns highlighting the importance of mentorship, each group received an adult mentor to guide them along their entrepreneurial adventure.