ABOUT PETE FREEMAN
I have been an innovator for as long as anyone close to me can remember. While most eight year olds were learning times tables, I was calculating what markups I could make on my baseball card collection and still sell Ken Griffey Jr.'s rookie card to the neighborhood kids in Culver, IN.
When I turned fourteen, I set my sights on Washington D.C., where I was selected by my principal to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Before the final selection process -- a one-on-one interview with my middle school principal -- I asked a buddy of mine who was regularly sent to the principal's office to do a little reconnaissance. It turns out, Principal Smith was an avid reader of Malcom Gladwell. Let's just say my 20-minute conversation with my principal about "Outliers" pre-meeting sealed the deal before I ever stepped foot in his office. I packed my bags for D.C. Later, in high school, I co-founded the Sparrow Program, a nonprofit connecting underpriveleged elementary school students with high school mentors for behavioral intervention. It wasn’t long before I became obsessed with building businesses.
In 2010, I began to recognize the importance of social media; shortly thereafter, MillPulse.com was born. I used the site as a news aggregate for our high school, gauging the culture of our student body and putting out micro-content around it. Armed with a cell phone and a passion to connect with every member of Noblesville High School, I took MillPulse from a lame student-run website to THE source for breaking news. With our growing influence, MillPulse set out to raise funds for Pennies for Patients. By the end of the fundraiser, we had broken our school record for most funds raised in a year. It wasn’t long before hundreds of students were consuming our content every day (shout-out to Noblesville High School class of 2014 – love you guys).
In the winter of 2012, my friend CJ and I incorporated Sparrow into a nonprofit, an organization that would help elementary school students across our county pair up with high school mentors. The idea took hold – what started as a 9-person project 4 years ago has swelled to a 200-strong team.
After years of volunteering for causes like Rotary Club, Key Club and Sparrow Program, I launched ThankBank, an organization that crafts creative "thank you's" to give to community members in return for years of service. You can watch my TEDx talk on the group's core concepts in the 'Speaking' tab above. Before giving that TEDx talk, our group had just finished a two-year project for a 102-year-old volunteer. She couldn't have been happier with her 8' x 8' mural thanking her for over 50 years of service to Noblesville.
When I’m not spending time with my friends and family, who mean the world to me, I speak and share my experiences in business and innovation with people around Indiana. I also have a passion for scholarship, and am a proud student attending the University of Notre Dame on a full-ride Lilly Scholarship.
Thank YOU for taking a few minutes out of your day to meet me. Still reading? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! You might be surprised what you get in return ;-]