A $110,000 Scholarship and The Power of 1

Never doubt your ability to do a small thing to make a huge impact!

You already know that I’m a proud University of Memphis alumna and a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Based on my story, you probably also know that I once was a broke college student too.

I know that even the smallest bit of help means the difference between a student graduating or not. And graduating or not will impact their lives forever.


Last February, I had an amazing opportunity to initiate an endowed scholarship on behalf of the undergraduate chapter of my sorority when UofM alumnus MIke Bruns issued a challenge and offered matching funds.

As I sat in a Zoom meeting on Eradicating Systematic Racism.

I spotted two women that I thought were perfect to help make my new goal of creating a $100,000 endowed scholarship a reality– Alexia Young, vice president of the Black Alumni Chapter, and Venita Doggett who was a development director for the university. We met and came up with a plan to get our fellow alumni sorors to give.

When giving was low and slow (about only $35,000)

I refused to give up or settle. I created a short video demonstrating how easy it was to use the platform and how the payments could be broken up. I pushed and probably got on their nerves, but we kept trying. Then the pledges started rolling in. By our March deadline, we had exceeded our goal. We did it!

Now there is a $110,000+ Exceeding Excellence endowed scholarship at the University of Memphis that will benefit students in need for years to come.

Here’s the article that was featured in the University of Memphis magazine. Even better, two other organziations, alumni of Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities also created $50,000 endowed scholarships! Both also initiated by a single member who created a team to make an impact!

See the !

So whether you’re the 1 who starts it or 1 who contributes to it, just 1 can make a huge difference.

And, I’m doing it again to help even more students, but I need YOUR help!

This time, I’m partnering with the legendary member of the Memphis State Eight and my friend, Bertha Looney!

See why and how you should contribute !

And thanks SO much to those who already have!


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!”.