Teaching Teens How to Parent and Stop Having Children

Battling the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, Texas counselors have their work cut out

Brewer says one of her main goals is to keep the girls in school. Many are not aware that the Dallas Independent School District pays for day care, or that the Barbara Mann alternative high school offers classes at three different shifts to accommodate single working mothers, or that Richland College can help them get their GED and job training.

"The hardest thing for me is when I see these girls and I can see the future and what is going to happen," she says. "I can't make it happen for them; they have to make the decision."

Brewer looks at her watch. She has a full day of appointments ahead of her. One is at a Pleasant Grove apartment complex, where a community service organization with offices there has asked for information on preventing teen pregnancy. One is a home visit with one of the girls she visits regularly. They talk about education, they talk about nutrition, they talk about getting enough sleep. The next day is more of the same.

"It's a big problem, and it's not getting better," she says. "But I think I make a small difference in the lives of the girls we reach. That's all you can do."

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