Black History Month speaker Summer Owens
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This Black History Month, Make Your Own Mark

Imagine the impact on the world if more people worked to leave a legacy. When I started my career and became the first marketing manager for the NBA Memphis Grizzlies, I had no idea I was making history. However, when I initiated the effort…
Melissa Graham
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Melissa Graham: S.O. What! Success Story

One thing I always tell my students is to talk to people. And something that almost always happens is you’ll find a lot that you have in common. Melissa Graham and I started talking because both of us have a passion for student success.…
Ms. Univesity of Memphis
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Ms. University of Memphis and Me

Do you attend your college or high school homecoming events and games? As a student at the University of Memphis, I enjoyed the basketball games but have never been a big football fan. So the first Homecoming I attended was when I was a finalist…
Gloria Saulsberry
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Gloria Saulsberry: S.O. What! Success Story

One of the hardest things, in my opinion, to do is to be a parent. Then add being a teen parent. How about a single parent? How about to four…boys? Whew. When I became a mentor at the Adolescent Parenting Program, I met Gloria Saulsberry,…
Ekundayo Bandele
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Ekundayo Bandele: S.O. What! Success Story

When the artist becomes a businessman a beautiful creation and asset to a city is born. Ekundayo Bandele has always known he was an artist, a creator. Since I’ve lived in Memphis, I have heard his name and admired his work. Ekundayo Bandele…
Ed Robinson
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Ed Robinson: S.O. What! Success Story

When I attended my first Influence, the premier conference for professional speakers, I was excited and also intimidated. But I was immediately embraced. One of the incredible, experienced speakers who welcomed me was Ed Robinson, the Rainmaker.  Standing…
Dr. Mario Brown
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Dr. Mario Brown: S.O. What! Success Story

When the blueprint is not given to you, but you still succeed and exceed even your own expectations. That’s the story of my friend, Dr. Mario Brown. As college students at the predominantly white institution, the University of Memphis.…
Summer Owens at the JCM class of 1997 25th anniversary class reunion
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25 Life Takeaways from My 25th Anniversary Class Reunion

Last weekend I attended my 25th anniversary class reunion. Even typing 25th anniversary doesn't seem like it could possibly apply to me.  It seems like it was just a couple of years ago that we got our green caps and gowns and excitedly walked…
Tim Ware
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Tim Ware: S.O. What! Success Story

Find your cheerleader. That was the closing advice given by the former athlete turned education leader, Tim Ware, in our interview. When we met over a decade ago, Tim Ware had started a school and today he leads another one just for young…