Growing up in Arlington, Texas, Melanie Goodwin's best friend was Demyia Pridgen, who loved to help Melanie practice her theater pieces.
"As kids, we loved to play," Pridgen told ABC News. "We had great imaginations. Melanie always loved to sing and dance, and to laugh."
Here, Melanie and Demyia head off to their high school prom. (Courtesy the Goodwin family)