Many times in life we wonder why certain things happen to us or why we meet certain people.
And often, we don’t think twice about some events or some people. But one thing I have seen over and over again in my life is that…
Everything comes full circle.
My most recent examples happened this past weekend with a speaking engagement at Fontebella Maternity Home in O’Fallon, Illinois. And a hosting engagement for the Women of Achievement Awards ceremony in Memphis, TN the next day.
An old high school acquaintance of mine who I’ve only seen three times since graduating in 1997 serves on the board of Fontebella Maternity Home .
And recommended me as the speaker for their annual fundraising dinner. I was honored to be selected and truly enjoyed the experience because I could relate to the young mothers in many ways. Reconnecting with my high school acquaintance turned friend, we discovered that although we had not been in touch. Also, we had a LOT in common and even shared some very similar challenges. Nearly 20 years later with a lot of life experience and similar hearts, we were helping each other and helping others.
After speaking at the Fontebella Maternity Home dinner,
I caught a red-eye flight to make it back to Memphis in time to co-host the 32nd annual Women of Achievement Awards. In 2012, I received the incredible honor of the Women of Achievement Heroism awar. And joined the many amazing women who had received this honor over the years. The next few years I was able to participate in planning the event and this year I was humbled to be asked to co-host the event. Although I have now done numerous speaking engagements, I had never served as a host of an awards show. My co-host was an amazing lady, Africa Gonzalez. I had never met her before, but she and I were featured on a local magazine cover together a few years ago.
Plus, one of the honorees, was the amazing Claudia Haltom.
Former magistrate and founder of the A Step Ahead Foundation. Claudia was one of the first people I met and one of my biggest supporters after publishing my book. She is an incredibly strong and caring woman. And it was great to see her being honored along with the other women doing great things for Memphis and the world.
Last month, I spoke at the Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Prominent Black Women’s Banquet.
As a freshman in college, I attended this banquet. And as a sophomore and new member of the chapter, I helped to plan this banquet. Also as a senior, the chapter honored me with the undergraduate award. As a professional three years ago, I was honored with the award, and this year I was the keynote speaker…20 years after attending the banquet for the first time!
Tonight after I finish this post,
I’ll get back to work on my plans for my class at the University of Memphis. Last week was spring break, so tomorrow we’ll be back at it and headed towards the finish line for this semester. I am still amazed at this wonderful opportunity that I’ve been given to teach a class that I created based on my own story. It truly seems like it was just yesterday that I set foot on the campus at the University of Memphis as a freshman. Now, I am a professor with the awesome opportunity and responsibility to help prepare students for life after college.
My life has truly been a journey. I definitely wouldn’t have predicted nearly any of the blessings or challenges I’ve experienced.
But I am thankful for each of them because I’ve learned from them. And I simply smile when I realize my circles are connecting- when some person or some experience from my past connects to my present and affects my future.
Do you pay attention to connections from your past manifesting in your present situations? I’d love to hear your examples too!
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!”.