Mississippi slowly changes tactics to fight nation’s highest teen pregnancy rate

With her hair in a ponytail and her smile quick and wide, it’s hard to tell that high school junior Donyell Hollins has been pulling all-nighters for most of the semester to take care of her infant daughter.

Her situation isn’t unusual in the small Delta town of Marks, home to one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state that leads the nation in the statistic. But unlike teen mothers in previous decades, 18-year-old Hollins is benefiting from a change in attitude that’s paving the way for frank discussions about parenting skills, career goals and contraception.

AP
5/29/12