In addition to seeing herself as a warrior, Melba was also able to survive because she created a support system for herself. While other students left—voluntarily or forcibly—Melba stuck it out because of the support she received from others. Melba developed a close friendship with Link, a white high school boy, who helped her (for example, by letting her borrow his car) as she helped him better understand racial issues.
She also became close with fellow Little Rock Nine members, who looked to one another for encouragement and solidarity. Furthermore, she looked to the local black newspaper publisher, Daisy Bates, as a mentor and source of strength. Every time Melba felt like giving up in the text, she sought the advice of her friends, mentor, and tight-knit family.
With their support and her self-determination to persevere regardless of the abuses she suffered, Melba survived her year at Central High.