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Student spotlight: Jessica Osceola

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATALLAHASSEE — Television has been described as a vast wasteland, but Jessica Osceola would be quick to disagree. The Florida State University freshman found her future career path through a popular TV show about FBI behavior analysts.

Osceola is pursuing a double major in psychology and criminology with the intent of going to work for the FBI.

“I’ve always liked psychology; I find it very interesting,” Osceola, 18, said. “I saw a TV show, “Criminal Minds,” and did more research to see what it would really be like. They profile criminals by looking at a crime to figure out why the criminal did it and then figure out who it was. It’s working backwards.”

Osceola has always enjoyed a good mystery – her favorite author is James Patterson, so working in a mysterious field suits her.

Her future plans are so clear that she is already planning to go to graduate school for an advanced degree in psychology, and perhaps even a doctorate.

Inspiration came from her high school psychology teacher, who raised her awareness of the subject.

“I find psychology really interesting,” Osceola said. “It challenges me and makes me think.”

Originally from the Naples community, Osceola and her family moved to Virginia a few years ago. She always wanted to go to FSU; it was her first-choice school. That fondness may be in her genes because her grandfather, Guy Osceola, graduated from FSU.

One of the challenges Osceola faced when she started freshman year was being from out of state. Although she was raised mostly in Naples, she went to high school in Virginia and didn’t have any friends attending FSU. She joined numerous clubs to meet people with similar interests and actively participates in her favorite ones: rock climbing and billiards.

Osceola credits her mother, Wanda, as being one of her heroes.

“She always told me to do whatever it was I wanted to do,” she said. “And she always went out of her way to help me if I needed it.”

Her advice for high school students considering college is to go.

“I was nervous about going away to school, but I gave it a chance,” Osceola said. “Too many kids just stay in the local area instead of leaving home. I think you lose out on an experience if you stay where you’ve always been. Don’t stick around. Even though it can be nerve-racking to leave your family, you can still see them over the breaks. Everyone should try something they haven’t done before.”


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