While what has happened to Nancy Lee is terrible, Miss O'Shay, the girls' vice-principal, is completely supportive of her, going to far as to being willing to go to the school board to ask that any award that discriminated be eliminated. Miss O'Shay is clearly supportive of Nancy Lee, giving her encouragement, and explaining that her own people, the Irish, had been discriminated against in the past, too. Miss O'Shay's support and sharing of her own past is a gift to Nancy Lee that allows her to go forward with her head high, to fight again another day.
It may seem unbelievable to students today that such an event could take place in real life. However, many such events took place in 1952 and even later than that. While I do not know a great deal about Langston Hughes' personal life, it is quite likely that he experienced similar kinds of discrimination in his lifetime.
She follows her heart the whole way. She is confident in her self no matter what.