Facts of Life

When my sixth-grade “little sister” asked me some tough questions, I had some of my own: How do you talk to teenagers about sex?

You get pregnant,” eleven-year-old Maria told me, “if you have a boyfriend.” Her friend Reyna nodded in agreement.

We were sitting in the noisy cafeteria of an East Austin middle school, where I visited Maria once a week as her mentor through a local program. When I had started mentoring, five years earlier, she had been much more likely to

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