NATCHITOCHES – Friends, family and school classmates are honoring the memory of Belinda Michelle Williams by creating an endowed scholarship in her name that will benefit Northwestern State University students majoring in nursing and biology.
Gabrielle Bellard, a nursing major from Opelousas, is the inaugural recipient of the Melinda Michelle Williams Memorial Scholarship that will be awarded to a nursing major each fall and a biology major each spring semester with preference to a minority female with a 3.0 or better grade point average.
“Ms. Bellard exceeds the qualifications and absolutely represents my sister’s commitment to academic excellence as well as her passion for helping others. Never has the need been greater to help individuals who wish to become health professionals due to the COVID-19 world crisis. As such, we are proud to support Ms. Bellard and in doing so, help continue my sister’s legacy,” said Williams’ sister, Dr. Carmella Parker.
“Belinda was committed to excellence and education. The recipient of her scholarship is committed to both. We are pleased that she will continue Belinda’s legacy,” Parker added.
Williams was born May 24, 1978, in Alexandria, to the late Tom Williams, Jr. and Linda Gail Culbert Williams. She was reared in Leesville after her father, a Vietnam War veteran, died at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. She attended schools in Vernon Parish and graduated from Leesville High School in May 1996. Upon her completion of high school, she continued her education and attended Northwestern State University.
“She absolutely adored Northwestern State University, as it is a family school,” Parker said. Williams graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in Healthcare Management. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Louisiana State University and Nurse Practitioner certification from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Williams, a former captain in the United States Army and a Nurse Practitioner, was attending the St. James Medical School in St. Vincent Island at the time of her passing.
The scholarship was made possible by her classmates in Leesville High School’s graduating class of 1996, friends, family and faculty at NSU.
Friends who wish to contribute to the scholarship can visit northwesternstatealumni.com, click Give to the NSU Foundation link and indicate in comments the Belinda Michelle Williams Memorial Scholarship.