At a school assembly at the end of the year, Rodriguez took off her fake baby belly and revealed the truth to her classmates. As she explained the purpose behind her experiment, she distributed notecards inscribed with words people had said about her during her "pregnancy." Many were hurtful, similar to this comment from a close friend: "Her attitude is changing, and it might be because of the baby, or she was always this annoying and I never realized it."
Despite the sometimes painful words, Rodriguez says she'd do it all again. During the course of the experiment, she gained deep insight into the way her community treats pregnant teens, and she hopes to use that insight to make a difference. Today, she's an advocate for education and awareness. She feels that schools, for example, should offer more comprehensive sex education classes. "We only ever had one or two classes, and they were mostly about puberty," she says. "I didn't learn about Planned Parenthood until my senior year of high school when I was working on this project."
Rodriguez also discovered a little something about how parents – and teachers, for that matter – can best help their pregnant teens. "Support, support, support," she says. "Teens don't always make the smartest decisions, and sometimes parents can't do anything about it. Even though my mom didn't want me to go through with this project because she was a teen mom and knew the struggles, she knew I was passionate about it and doing it with a purpose. So she supported me no matter what."