by Julia Claire Williams
On June 19th, 2021, my life forever changed when I heard the words, “Our new Miss Louisiana is … Miss Heart of Pilot, Julia Claire Williams!” I was in utter disbelief because this was my first time to compete in Miss Louisiana. Though a surprise, it was music to my ears, as my childhood dream finally became my adulthood reality.
Fifteen years ago, Freddy, my oh-so-sweet, underprivileged, disabled friend fell victim to unkind bullies in our second-grade class when they tied the laces of his skates together. On that day, I realized that this single event and this young boy would, forever, impact my life. I did not know, however, that this incident and this boy would become the heart of my social impact initiative for Miss Louisiana.
I have transformed Freddy’s name into an acronym standing for “Fostering Rewarding Engagements with Disabled and Disadvantaged Youth.” This year, I want to hearten others to donate their time, love, and hands-on support to youth like Freddy. I genuinely believe serving as the support system these children so desperately need is essential, as it is within this and the fostering of rewarding relationships with them that they are able to feel truly loved and recognized.
The job of Miss Louisiana comes with great responsibility, and with great responsibility comes great reward. I was fortunate to be awarded $12,500 in scholarship dollars, which will significantly improve the affordability of medical school for me in the future.
I wish to be remembered as a Miss Louisiana who represented ALL community sectors and made an impact that lasted far beyond the close of my year of service. To say that I am overjoyed, honored, and grateful for the opportunity to serve and represent our beautiful state would be the understatement of the century.
Louisiana, you are my sunshine, and I hope to be yours for the next 338 days!