Ask anyone who knows her, and they'll tell you Lillian Skinner is one of the nicest girls they've ever met.
"She's so sweet," said 17-year-old Anahi Alvarez, one of Skinner's best friends and fellow classmates at North Texas' Grand Prairie High School. "We need people in this world like Lilly."
"My mom tells me, and I remember to tell my friends, 'Look inside [to see what] counts. Not the outside. Look inside your heart,'" Skinner told NBC 5. "If you judge people's skin, that's bad. But look inside their heart, to who they are."
See? What a nice kid.
But sadly, it was Skinner's very sweet and innocent nature that recently found her as the butt of a cruel prank that sounds like something straight out of "Mean Girls." According to NBC Chicago, an unnamed group of girls apparently decided it would be hilarious to run up to Skinner and tell her she had just been nominated for—gasp!—homecoming queen. (In other words, every high school girl's dream come true.)
In reality, Skinner hadn't been nominated at all, and as she later found out, didn't stand a chance of being crowned. At least, that's what she thought.
It just so happened that two of Skinner's best friends—Anahi Alvarez and Naomi Martinez—were nominated. And once they found out about the joke played on their friend, they put their heads together and hatched a plan. If one of them won homecoming queen, they would hand over their crown to Skinner, no questions asked.
"We promised each other and we were like, 'No matter what, no backing down. If one of us wins, we're giving Lillian the crown,'" Martinez said.
The girls even went so far as to get the school principal in on things.
On homecoming night, Principal Lorimer Arendse happily led Skinner onto the field, after asking her to take photos of the homecoming court procession. Skinner was excited just to get a front-row seat, in hopes that one of her friends would be crowned. But little did she know she was about to have a very big moment of her own.
Before long, it was announced: Anahi Alvarez was Grand Prairie High's 2014 Homecoming Queen. But the crown wasn't placed on Alvarez's head; Skinner was called over, to be crowned herself.
"When she won the queen, I took a picture and she told me to come over," remembers Skinner. "And I said, 'It's OK. It's OK. It's your crown, you know? My name is not on the list.'"
But Alvarez would hear none of it—the homecoming crown was Skinner's.
"I was like, 'Wow, really? Like, wow! Like, is this a dream or something?'" Skinner later said.
"That's when it was just, the moment itself took over," Principal Arendse remembers.
And boy, was it a moment.
"Seeing the look on her face and the way she reacted toward it, it was priceless," said Martinez. "I knew it was the right decision."
Alvarez agreed, saying she'd gladly do it all over the same way, if she had the chance.
"Well, for me, I want to say, and I always say, 'Lilly won. I just ran in her place, in her position,'" Alvarez said. "When they ask me, 'Were you homecoming queen?' I say, 'No, Lilly is homecoming queen.'"
"In all my time in school," added Arendse, "this is probably the greatest moment I've ever experienced as a principal."