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One year ago, I arrived in Los Angeles on a bright, sunny February day with a directive from the great film director David Lynch: Teach the Transcendental Meditation/Quiet Time Program at Children of the Night—a school/shelter dedicated to assisting homeless children and teens who have been involved in prostitution.

As a recent university graduate from the cold and pretty much “out-in-middle-of-nowhere” Iowa and a newly trained teacher of the TM technique, I will admit that I was a bit nervous. I had absolutely no clue what to expect when I arrived.

In fact, prior to learning about Children of the Night, I will admit I had no real clue that the problem of child prostitution even existed on such a large scale in the United States. I think most of us don’t, and if we do, we don’t want to believe that such horrific things could happen right here in our own backyard.