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Cousins Krysta Burton and Brydgett Youngblood celebrate IRSC graduation

Higher education graduates, and cousins, Krysta Burton, left, and Brydgett Youngblood. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

Krysta Burton and Brydgett Youngblood grew up not far from each other in Okeechobee and Brighton. The first cousins recently shared an important milestone when they both graduated from Indian River State College with associate degrees.

Burton earned an Associate of Arts in health science. She plans to attend school to become an emergency medical technician and paramedic, but will take a gap year before she pursues the next step of her education.

Burton is also interested in nursing and said if she decides the EMT and paramedic fields aren’t for her, she will go into nursing instead.

“I don’t have family in the medical field, but it’s always been an interest of mine,” Burton said. “There are so many different aspects of the field and so much you can do, I’d never get bored. If I do go into nursing, I’d love to be in the emergency room.”

Burton is glad to have graduated and is ready to start a new chapter in her life. She is the first in her household to graduate from college; her mother Micki Burton started but never finished college. As for graduating together with her cousin, Burton said they didn’t see each other often since they attended different campuses of IRSC.

“But it was cool to graduate with my cousin,” Burton said.

Youngblood earned an Associate of Arts in culinary management and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Her interest in the culinary and hospitality field began when she first learned to cook.

“I switched majors a few times and realized I really like cooking and wondered if I could go to school for it,” Youngblood said. “I love baking and stuck with it.” She likes to bake cakes, desserts and pastries, but she also wants to go further in the field. She plans to ultimately get a bachelor’s degree in business so she can learn the business side of running restaurants. Eventually she would like to open her own bakery.

Her young daughter and new baby keep Youngblood busy, but she wants to get a job and learn about the business before she continues her education.

“It feels good to be a graduate, but I’m glad to be done for now,” she said. “I’m glad I found something I love to do and I’m happy I got my degree.”

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at