Brianna Luberisse gives us hope that our future is in good hands. At only 15-years-old, the ninth-grade Inlet Grove Community High School student is already the editor in chief of her school’s newspaper, Grove Watch, and in the midst of authoring a book. She has also completed internships at the South Florida Times and Palm Beach Post, where her work has been published for millions to see.
Determined, capable and bright, Brianna aspires to be an executive editor and eventually create her own publication. In her case, the cliché saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” applies.
“The person who really inspired me is my mom. She said she would always write in journals to get her thoughts out. She taught me how to do that and told me I needed to be good in my writing,” Luberisse said.
But her mom’s example wasn’t the only thing that motivated her. Luberisse said as a child, she had an internal desire of her own that wasn’t common among kids her age. She recalls wanting a typewriter when all her friends thought it was an ancient and boring machine.
“I always wanted a typewriter and I got one when I was little. I’m typing on the typewriter and I’m like, I love doing this! Typewriters are so cool! Everybody else was like, no they’re not, they’re old stuff and I’m like they’re really cool. I like writing,” Luberisse said.
After realizing just how much she enjoyed writing, Luberisse began writing stories in elementary school. When she entered middle school, she said her teachers and others affirmed her talent and told her she should pursue writing in the future.
But she felt a little inadequate about her skills and was unsure if she actually wanted to write as a career. Then she met her journalism teacher, C.B. Hanif, who she credits with encouraging her to consider writing as a serious career choice.
“We were in class getting our assignments and he (Hanif) assigned me as a staff writer. I wrote a story about Harriet Tubman being on the twenty dollar bill and he said, this is really good,” Luberisse said. “He told me, like everyone else, you should write more.”
Luberisse said she was still hesitant, but Hanif continued to encourage her, telling her she had potential and inviting her to be Editor-In-Chief after reading a few more of her stories.
“He said I see something in you. You could be a leader,” Luberisse said of Hanif. Hanif’s persistence paid off. Luberisse said she finally decided to take journalism seriously, but for a reason far greater than selfish ambition. Her desire to help others is what drives her to become the best person she can be.
“I see a lot of people that have potential and I want stuff for myself and I want it for everybody else. I want everybody to have the opportunity to get somewhere far in life,” Luberisse said. “I’m counting on myself to help promote or motivate other people to do what they want to do in the future.”
Despite her recent accomplishments, Luberisse feels she still has a lot of room to grow. She cites her 17-year-old brother, who is a great student and captain of the basketball team, as someone she aspires to be like.
“I want to be like him. He takes more initiative than I do … helping others, making people laugh … he’s just an outgoing guy and I want to be able to be outgoing and be a leader like he is. He takes initiative in everything,” Luberisse said.
Luberisse’s own initiative is something to be commended. She started writing her book, Life’s a Struggle, when she was 13. She currently has 17 chapters uploaded on wattpad.com and is aiming to become number one so she can attend a conference in New York and get her book published.
However, she still sees herself as a normal teen who isn’t doing anything amazing. She doesn’t take others’ faith in her, or the opportunities she has received, for granted.
“When people compliment me, I’m kind of like really, is this really happening right now. Since I got my name in the newspaper, I was like, is this even real,” Luberisse admitted. “When people compliment me it really helps me to know I can get there and I can be able to do this and I can help others do this too.”