If you’ve tuned into Christian radio on your morning commute, you’ve probably heard Palm Beach Atlantic alumna Brigitte Sylvestre’s enlightening interviews and encouraging words over the airwaves.
As co-host of Moody Radio South Florida’s Mornings with Eric & Brigitte, Sylvestre interviews prominent ministry and community leaders, authors and theologians about timely topics in the news. PBA professors have appeared on her program to talk about racial reconciliation, COVID-19, the vaccine rollout and civil discourse in an election year.
Sylvestre presented a talk on “Women in the Media” Wednesday as part of the University’s new Wordship initiative. Her PBA roommate Danilda Martinez, now an assistant professor of digital media production, brought her students to hear Sylvestre in the Lassiter Rotunda of the Warren Library. Her husband, Gibson, also attended.
At a young age, Sylvestre knew what she wanted to do with her life. An older sister talked her and her parents into signing up for a beauty pageant. When it came time for the interview, the presenter asked “How do you want to use your voice when you grow up?”
She confidently answered, “I want to communicate in a way that brings hope, help and healing to people,” adding, “and I want to be the next Oprah Winfrey.”
Sylvestre planned follow Winfrey’s trajectory from local TV into national talk radio. When she got to PBA, though, one of her professors observed how much she valued her faith and asked “Have you thought about Christian radio?”
Sylvestre thought she had her path laid out, but “I was open to something else,” she said.
“Whatever your chosen career is, I want to encourage you to have that kingdom mentality, that kingdom perspective,” Sylvestre told students.
The Westminster Academy (Fort Lauderdale) alumna graduated from PBA in 2005 with a degree in radio and TV news. She began working at Moody Radio in 2007 and served in a variety of capacities before being promoted to the morning co-host position in 2019.
Before going on the air, she says, “Lord, I am your vessel.” Her various guests have served in some of the hardest places in the world to be a Christian, supported women after they choose life and helped people live abundant lives despite disability.
“Being able to tell these types of stories and encourage people every day is what I enjoy the most,” Sylvestre said. “It is a labor of love.”
The program does not shy away from sensitive topics, either, and the pushback that Sylvestre sometimes gets from those shows is real, she said. She urged believers to listen to perspectives that may differ from their own.
“We really do have to use Christ as our example,” Sylvestre said. “Even if we don’t agree, you don’t have to be my enemy.”
During the Q & A, Sailfish Services Associate and fellow PBA alumna Andrea Echlund told Sylvestre she listens to her on her hour-long commute and “I’ve definitely noticed that God has given you a gift to be intentional and be thoughtful.”
Responded Sylvestre, “God gives us all gifts. How we choose to use them is our gift back to Him.”
Photo 1: Brigitte Sylvestre, a 2005 PBA graduate, smiles during her talk on "Women in the Media" in the Lassiter Rotunda of the Warren Library on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Sylvestre is co-host of Mornings with Eric & Brigitte on Moody Radio South Florida. Her talk was part of the University's new Wordship initiative.
Photo 2: Frances Dean Smith, a 1994 alumna, speaks to Sylvestre during the Q&A. Sylvestre spoke about using Christ as our example for how we treat others, including those with whom we disagree.
Photo 3: Sylvestre talks about her career in Christian radio during a "Women in the Media" event in the Lassiter Rotunda of the Warren Library. It was one of several Women's History Month events.