Goats and Soda

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STORIES OF LIFE IN A CHANGING WORLD

Leslie Morales (from left), Soraya Mohamud and Tanjum Choudhury discuss what it's like to be 15. All three are sophomores at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md. Akash Ghai/NPR hide caption

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Girls/Boys

American Girls Weigh In: 'We're Not Just Sitting Ducks': #15Girls

We've looked at the lives of 15-year-old girls all over the world. Now American girls tell us what it's like to be 15 in the U.S.

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Zanele Themba (on the left with the pink backpack strap) admires American teens because they "know what they want and go for it." She's posing with classmates from the Sapphire Secondary School who participated in a model U.N. in Johannesburg. Courtesy of Youth@SAIIA hide caption

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Hadia Durani is 15. She says she wants to be president when she grows up. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Soccer buddies Lahis Maria Ramos Veras, 14 (left), and Milena Medeiros dos Santos, 16, don't let taunts keep them from playing. Lahis goes by the nickname "Lala." Lianne Milton for NPR hide caption

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Girls/Boys

Mean Boys Can't Keep Girls Off The Soccer Field: #15Girls

Brazil used to ban girls from playing the game. The law is now off the books, but that doesn't mean it's easy for girls to play 'the beautiful game.'

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Now in tenth grade, Mulando is already planning how to negotiate her tuition for 11th grade. She's also trying to figure out how to get to medical school. Samantha Reinders for NPR hide caption

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A girl looks away from the body of an assassinated man, who was killed by a gang member in San Salvador. Encarni Pindado for NPR hide caption

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Girls/Boys

The Surreal Reasons Girls Are Disappearing In El Salvador: #15Girls

Refuse to share a pencil, reject a boy, say no to your imprisoned dad — all of these can get a teen girl killed in El Salvador's gang war.

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Queen Silvia of Sweden attends the World Childhood Foundation 16th anniversary gala Thursday in New York City. Theo Wargo/Getty Images for World Childhood hide caption

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Ann Cotton, pictured with students in Tanzania, makes sure girls have the funds for everything from books to shoes, so they won't "feel like a poor relation" in school. Courtesy of Camfed hide caption

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British actress Zawe Ashton and Agnes Pareyio, who underwent female genital mutilation as a girl in Kenya, are two of the activists featured in "Stop Cutting Our Girls," a documentary opposing the practice. Pontso Mafethe/Courtesy of Pontso Mafethe hide caption

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Here's the group of "teen advisers" who spoke with Goats and Soda at the 2015 Girl Up conference in Washington, D.C. Top row: Amy Gong Liu, Janet Diaz, Janet Ho, Kennede Reese, Rebecca Ruvalcaba. Middle row: Ruhy Patel, Celia Buckman, Simone Cowan, Jessica Bishai. Bottom row: Sydney Baumgardt, Alexandra Intriago, Anna McGuire, Ishana Nigam John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

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Girl Up activists are in the nation's capital — and talking with NPR today on Periscope. Last year's participants in the annual conference included (from left) Alexandra Leone (New Hope, Pa.); Grace Peters (Flemington, N.J.); Aklesiya Dejene (Chicago); Isabella Gonzalez and Erika Hiple (Stockton, N.J.). Ryan Kellman /NPR hide caption

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Fatima Haidari, second from the right, and her bike riding club caught the attention of Humans of Kabul — the Afghanistan version of the popular Humans of New York blog. David Fox/Courtesy of Humans of Kabul hide caption

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Kids in Cape Town socialize as they walk to school. Children in South Africa often don't get to play outside by themselves because of the high rate of violent crimes in some areas. Henk Badenhorst/Getty Images hide caption

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Safeena Husain says: "I educate girls." Her efforts have brought 80,000 Indian girls into school; last week she received a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (above). Courtesy of Skoll Foundation/Gabriel Diamond hide caption

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