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Can You Be Happy Being Last on the List?

On January 20th, I sat like most of America watching history being made. Regardless of one’s political views, the fact remains that a woman and of color was in the position of Vice President of the United States. Something my mother and certainly my grandmothers never thought they’d live to see.

But I did. I believed it, and I saw it.

I, like many other people of color and like many other women, also saw myself.

Last on the List

Vice President Kamala Harris is on top, but she is at the bottom of a long list of white men who preceded her in that position.

I smiled to myself thinking about my position on the image below. At the bottom of the list of mostly white men. There are also a few white women, one black man, and one other black woman who assumed the role ten years ago late in her career.

I’m honored to be last on this list starting at 40 years old and to serve. And to my surprise, as the current president of the National Alumni Association Board of Directors for the University of Memphis. The same university where my new friend Bertha Looney was one of the first black students. And where the first black professor, Miriam DeCosta Willis. Who I was privileged to know, was denied entrance.

As VP Kamala Harris so beautifully expressed, “I may the first, but I will not be the last.” I too am determined to educate, inspire, and support more women and minority leaders. So that I will not be the last.”

I Will Not Be the Last


Through February and March, I am excited to share my story of resilience and leadership for Black History Month and Women’s History Month programs.



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!”.