As I continue to explore old blog posts, I found one so appropriate for this transition in seasons-

A Wonderful Summer: Turning a Fall into a Spring

As great as the title was for the summer turning to fall, the blog post that I reference in that old post was written by a wonderful lady named Emma Connolly. She had seen the big feature on me in our local newspaper, and she set out to meet me.

After our meeting, she invited me to be on the board of directors for the nonprofit and she had started to help underprivileged youth express themselves through writing, WriteMemphis. It was my first time serving on a board, and I was honored.

And she wrote this sweet blog post.

I got so much from her reaching out to me including these 5 key lessons:

1. Do what you feel you are called to do.

I wrote my first book and told my story to encourage others. I  was nervous about how it would be received or if anyone would even care. They did.

2. Share who you are and what you do.

Don’t be shy. Let people know what you’ve done and what you have to offer.

3. Strangers can be your friends.

People I knew already could have given me the same love, attention, and exposure as Emma but didn’t. Someone I had never met before saw value in me and my story where others close to me did not (or didn’t express it).

4. Be accessible.

When Emma saw the article about me, she was able to easily contact me. Are you visible on social media? Have a website? When someone is interested in connecting with you, can they easily do it?

5. Be open to new opportunities.

I had never served on a board of directors. However, after asking a few questions about the commitment, I decided to give it a try. It was a great introduction for the numerous boards I’ve served on and the nonprofit I started since.

What have you learned from an experience where someone showed you they saw you?


I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges.  provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.

Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker?  I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.