Tonight was the final night of this year's Our Whole Lives Grade 7-9 class. As I predicted at the beginning of this year's class, there were some frustrating moments and some awfully long nights. As I also predicted, though, the payoff is worth it. We had some attrition over the course of the last four months, but we still graduated well over thirty youth. And every single one of those kids is armed with factual information about how their bodies work, how relationships work (and sometimes don't work), and how to avoid STIs and unplanned pregnancies - not the deliberately misleading crap that federally-funded "abstinence-only" programs push.
I've done this now for three years running. It's still too early for the youth that I taught the first time to have grown into full adulthood, so I still have to more or less take it on faith that what I've done is really working.
On the other hand, this post's title comes from a couple of OWL alums from before my time. When they'd heard that we were running it this year, they insisted that we needed to give the youth something besides just a copy of Changing Bodies, Changing Lives as a memento. So these two young adults designed and produced "I Survived O.W.L." keychains for all participants. Pretty cool, eh?