By Anand Venigalla
Assistant Features Editor
Dylan Silva, a senior business management major, has been the mascot of LIU Post for four years. The mascot, which is a Pioneer, cheers on the football and basketball teams at school games along with the cheerleaders.
“It’s an honor being the Pioneer,” Silva said. “I came in my freshman year and coaches approached me and asked if I would like to be the mascot. I immediately said yes, so I went to mascot camp in Boston and came back with a blue ribbon and a trophy for the university.” Silva is a volunteer at this camp and is trained on how to be a mascot.
“Every year my favorite event is going down to Cheer Nationals and participating on the cheer mat where I essentially help tell the storyline of the cheer routine,” Silva said.
Right now Silva is preparing to compete in cheerleading nationals along with the cheer teams in Daytona, Florida in April.
Silva values his time at LIU Post. “I’ve learned a lot of critical skills here. I’m lucky to be at the College of Management so I get to take what I’m learning and implement it through real-world [situations] through student-run businesses,” Silva said. “LIU has prepared me with such great leadership skills, and being the mascot has prepared me in becoming a strong leader, because a lot of kids and alumni look up to the mascot.”
Silva gave some friendly advice. “Once you start something, stick to it, don’t ever give up,” he said. “You have to have a lot of agility to be successful throughout the course of college, and always be willing and open to learning new things to really push yourself to become a better person.”
In addition, Silva considered his best advice to be self-confident. “I believe self-confidence is the key to success. Self-confidence is the reason why someone can be successful. You have to be able to believe in yourself, and if you don’t believe in yourself, then how can you have a career?” Silva said.
Silva speaks from experience. “One point [where I didn’t believe in myself] was when I was really struggling academically and I was involved in a lot on campus.” His mentor worked with him to create a plan for success. For Silva, this was beneficial. “At first I thought I would have to give something up, like an activity I’m involved in on campus. However, once I sat down with my mentor and wrote out my daily schedule I learned very quickly that I still had time for myself and I still had time to do homework. So my best word of advice is don’t give up, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask people for help as well,” Silva said.
Silva credited his coach Matthew Blanar for his success, in addition to Dr. Robert Valli dean of the college of business management, and assistant deans Raymond Pullaro, and Graziela Fusaro.
When he graduates, Silva desires to go into consulting. “I want to be able to flip companies and help companies with strategy and developing, and driving a startup company to be successful,” Silva said.
He cited his work on student-run businesses and the deans’ scholars program. “Last fall I had an idea to do the Stuff-the-Bag sale which resulted in $8000 dollars in sales,” said Silva.