Biloxi High students gathered in the school's gymnasium to pay tribute to a girl they describe as quiet, intelligent, a treasure.
"God had a plan for her. He had a plan for Biloxi High School," said friend Janay Powell.
"Nicole was an amazing person. She was a wonderful friend and very gifted young woman and a sweet spirit," said friend Tenikka Sanders.
Needless to say, the brief ceremony was very emotional because Nicole's death was so unexpected.
But through the many tears, there was also support - a few shoulders to lean on in this time of sadness, not only for the students, but for the family who lost its youngest child.
"I think the senior class has found a closeness that they didn't have. More of them have met each other more than they had in the past. They have participated in more activities and it has, in just a very large way, pulled them together. Very, very close," said principal Pamela Manners.
In one of Nicole's last assignments, she wrote a quote that meant a great deal to her.
It said "Dedicate yourself to better not only your life, but those around you."
The people who gathered in this gym say Nicole lived what she wrote, and for that, she has graduated to a higher class with honors.
The funeral mass for Nicole Williams will be held Tuesday, January 25 at 11 a.m., at St. Phillip the Apostle Catholic Church in New Orleans.
Her burial will follow at 2 p.m. at the Biloxi National Cemetery.