Keeping the flame alive: my promise to PantherNOW

Things will change, but the spirit of what we do will still be there. | Photo courtesy of Samuel Larreal.

Brian Olmo | Editor-in-Chief

Before PantherNOW, I had no idea if I was cut out to be a leader.

I transferred to FIU in the spring of 2022. I was coming off a semester filled with personal issues. Everyone had an opinion as to what I should do with my life and a fog of indecisiveness clouded my mind. 

I felt lost and I didn’t know what to do. 

Then I remembered how much I enjoyed journalism and it so happened that a position for sports writer was open at PantherNOW.

Two years later, I can safely say that was one of the best decisions of my academic life. 

Writing for PantherNOW gave me an out. It gave me something to divert all of my focus to. Even if it felt like the world around me was crumbling, I could escape and create work that I was proud of. 

I wrote profiles, game recaps and even my own retrospective series, “FIU Flashback.” 

Soon enough, I was promoted to sports director. 

At the time I wasn’t just responsible for my writing, but managing an entire section. It was daunting, but I’ve always appreciated a challenge.

I quickly learned shutting out the world was no longer an option. If I wanted to lead, I’d have to abandon some of the escapism writing gave me when I first started. 

It was slow, but I changed. Being a leader changed me into a more outgoing, empathetic and assertive person. 

PantherNOW has given me something invaluable: the confidence to be comfortable with my decisions. 

I’ve struggled my entire life to stick to my guts and do what I want to do. I felt obligated to please others who haven’t spent a day in my shoes. 

I’m now at the helm and ready to put my best foot forward for the good of the paper and the student body.

Thank you to former editor-in-chief Elise Gregg. As a mentor, you’ve given me some of the best advice I’ve ever received. As an editor, you’re truly one of a kind. As a friend, you’re one of the closest I have. 

Thank you to the former sports director Liam Rooney. Without you, I wouldn’t be here. You believed in me. You saw how much I cared and encouraged me to keep going. 

Thank you to the student media advisors Robert Jaross, Alfred Soto and Francesca Rosario. They’ve always kept PantherNOW on the right path with their guidance.

I don’t know what these next semesters are going to look like. With all new jobs, there’s a learning curve and unforeseen challenges.

I can promise PantherNOW one thing though. I’m going to keep the flame alive. 

Things will change, but the spirit of what we do will still be there. 

We’ll always be an independent student paper that seeks the truth, keeps students informed and holds those in power accountable for their actions.

I urge everyone to stay tuned: big things are coming up for student media and you’re not going to want to miss it. 


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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