Something I know for sure is that life can be hard, and it can be very unfair. My life has taught me that, but it has also taught me that despite the challenges we face—sometimes extreme challenges and even trauma— we can still be successful.
So now I use the hard-learned lessons from my life to educate, inspire, and motivate youth and young adults to overcome their own obstacles and achieve their own S.O. What! Success.
I’m a former teen mom with a no-excuses, S.O. What! attitude that has helped me beat the odds and help others do the same. My first book, Life After Birth-A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother, details my journey as an insecure young girl, scared teen mother, and successful young woman who surpassed everyone’s expectations.
I became a mother when I was 15 after a forced sexual encounter. Although it was hard as a teen mother and I wanted to give up at times, I graduated from high school #8 in my class and with highest honors and was named Most Likely to Succeed. I earned the Emerging Leaders scholarship to college, graduated magna cum laude in four years, and was named Miss University of Memphis.
I started my career and quickly advanced with prestigious companies enjoying an amazing 15-year corporate career. As a single mother, I earned an MBA graduating magna cum laude. When I discovered my purpose and realized my power to inspire youth, young adults, and many others, I dedicated my life to helping others achieve their goals in spite of the obstacles they face.
- Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40
- Outstanding Young Alumna for the University of Memphis
- Fogelman College of Business and Economics Outstanding Young Alumna
- Memphis Grizzlies & McDonald’s Community Hero Award
- Southwest Community College Carter G. Woodson Award
- Women of Achievement Heroism Award
- Dress for Success Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
- Tri-state Defender Women of Excellence Award
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Leadership Fellow
- City of Memphis Mayor’s Youth Transition team
- Vice President for Communications for University of Memphis National Alumni Association
- New Memphis Institute Fellow
- Member of the National Speakers Association
Today, I am an author, a speaker, a S.O. What! Success Coach, as well as a university professor where I have taught marketing as well as a life skills and personal development course based on my memoir.
I have laughed and cried along the way. I’ve struggled, and I’ve persevered. But I never forget to say, “S.O. What!” then “So NOW what?” and that makes all the difference.
My passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. I am most excited about how the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum has improved literacy levels, motivation, and post-secondary education aspirations in some of our most vulnerable students. This includes elementary life skills curriculum and middle school curriculum. As a youth keynote speaker, author, and success coach, I love using life’s challenges to provide youth and young adults useful strategies around the country.
I’m a college motivational speaker that gets results! My extensive leadership and involvement experience in high school and in college, as a teen mother, laid the foundation for helping me to realize her S.O. What! Success- success in spite of any challenges. After publishing my memoir, I left a 15-year corporate career with the Memphis Grizzlies, ServiceMaster, and FedEx to speak full-time using my experience and unique ability to connect with youth and young adults to help them excel in college, careers, and life. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, I also work as a empowerment speaker for women.
RELATED BLOG POSTS
These blog posts provide more insight into my personal, academic, and professional journey. From light-hearted and fun to deep and insightful, these experiences have shaped why and how I help others create S.O. What! Success.