You are here
Home > Education > Student profile: Drew Osceola

Student profile: Drew Osceola

Drew OsceolaBy Amanda Murphy

FORT LAUDERDALE — Drew Osceola, a freshman at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, is working toward a bachelor’s degree in what he loves most: photography.

“I’ve always been interested in cameras ever since I was 8 years old,” Osceola said.

The 27-year-old began his college education at Nova Southeastern University studying business administration. He quickly realized it wasn’t for him. A few years ago while photographing his cousin’s wedding, Osceola’s passion for camerawork reignited. He transferred to the Art Institute and enjoys school much more now pursuing something he loves.

He has an eye for art, but it’s all about the minute details for Osceola. His favorite subject to shoot is food because of the many factors required to make the dish look enticing.

“A lot of people pay a lot of money to make sure the restaurant’s food looks great,” he said.

Eventually Osceola wants to open his own portrait studio. Once established, he plans to expand the business to include fashion photography.

Osceola’s determination to achieve his dreams stems from the example set by his grandfather, Frank Billie, the first president of the Seminole Tribe. Billie always told his grandson, “If you have something you’re passionate about, go after it and do it.”

In the 1950s, Billie recognized that something needed to be done about the poverty of his people, and he became dedicated to solving the problem.

“He was passionate about his people,” Osceola said. “I’ve learned from him [not to] let anything stand in your way.”

Although Osceola lives off the reservation in Davie, he stays connected to his culture through his family. His mother, Wanda Billie, is an arts and crafts teacher for the Traditional Preservation Department in Big Cypress, and his father, Jimmy Hank Osceola III, is a management intern in the Tribal Career Development Program. Because he spends time with his family, he almost speaks Mikasuki fluently.

Osceola also likes to get back to his roots by hunting, another one of his favorite hobbies.

“My people started out as hunters and gathers and I still like to hunt as often as I can,” he said.

Osceola said he has never lacked motivation but admitted he struggles with time management, a common challenge for most college students. Art Institute provided a mandatory personal effectiveness class that helped him get organized.

“I’ve definitely improved,” he said. “Early is on time. On time is late.”

Osceola said the most important key to college success is showing up for classes and meeting deadlines.

“When you have a deadline, do anything and everything to meet it because the deadline is No. 1. It determines whether you are successful or not,” he said.