img_6371Baptist Village Communities (BVC) is fully committed to providing quality services that enhance lives. One of the best ways we are able to do that is helping Friends Team members grow in their skills.

The Josephine Heyland Education Assistance Fund was created to provide financial assistance to qualified BVC team members who want to further their education or training.

The scholarship is named for Josephine Heyland, the aunt of Joyce Evans, who has served on the Baptist Village of Broken Arrow support team and whose husband, Bud, serves as an advisor on the BVC board of directors.

A generous contributor to BVC for many years, Heyland was a dedicated cattle farmer in Arkansas who would send gifts to BVC each time she sold cattle. She also had a heart for young people and thought the best way to combine her passions was to begin a fund for nursing students who would serve at Baptist Village.

Michelle Billings is a registered nurse and serves as director of T.B. Lackey Health Center at Baptist Village of Oklahoma City, as well as assistant campus director. She is a recipient of the scholarship.

“I am a nurse because I believe it is my calling,” said Billings. “I’ve taken care of elderly family members in my home. Aging services is my love; it’s my passion, and I’ve been doing it for more than 25 years.”

She continued, “The Josephine Heyland Education Assistance scholarship impacted my life in a most incredible way. I had never completed my dream of getting my bachelor of science degree. After marriage and three children along the way, my season in life was to stay at home and be a mother. I worked as a nurse, but school was not an option. But now that my children are older, the scholarship offered me a way to afford to work, go to school and to pursue my dream.

bvrc-pictures-4249“I am constantly reminding (other Friends Team members) about the scholarship. I know what it did for me, and I want others to be able to use it, as well.”

Heyland’’s dream has expanded beyond the nursing field to include any area of Baptist Village Communities. Billings and others on the Friends Team have advanced their fields in nursing, but many others have progressed in a variety of areas. Friends Team members have acquired life enrichment/social service director certification, dining services manager certification, and have developed their mechanical maintenance skills. In essence, the Heyland scholarship has affected a great many people in a positive way.

Billings said many Friends Team members have taken advantage of the scholarship on the Oklahoma City campus.

Over the years, BVC has been blessed to give $45,000 to assist them in their education. The unquestionable result is a strengthened service with residents, family and other Friends Team members. Their advanced skill set further enhances the lives of those they serve with.

“The scholarship allows people to dream, and many Friends Team members never thought they could have that dream,” said Billings.

For more information about the Heyland Scholarship, contact the BVC development office toll-free at 866/887-2872.