I wanted to live a fulfilling life where I could take care of myself and my son without struggling.
I wanted to go to college as I saw that as a ticket to a different life. During my high school graduation, there was an awards day when the guidance counselor announced scholarships. I was excited about the opportunity to stand up to those who had counted me out because I was a teenage mother. Then a funny thing happened, the guidance counselor announced the scholarships for all the other students. But my scholarship was never announced. Later, I would ask the guidance counselor, but she had no idea.
She encouraged me to focus on what mattered – the scholarship itself –
Which provided me with the opportunity I needed to live a fulfilling life. On my graduation day, there would be no public recognition. The big lesson for me was I needed to succeed in life for myself, not others. In my case, I did it for myself and my child. I wanted recognition but it wouldn’t come until years later. Meanwhile, I needed to keep doing the right things anyway while understanding acknowledgement may never come.
I desperately wanted to go to college.
I had seen others who had been to college and wanted what they had. I wanted the nice car, nice house, a chance to travel, my own money, all so I could take care of myself and my son. I wanted him to have a different life to mine. My only difficulty was I didn’t know how I could make it to college. My parents never went to college and my guidance counsellor wasn’t very helpful.
What did I do for a chance to go to college and live a fulfilling life?
I stayed focused. I figured things out.
What do you need to focus on? What do you need to figure out? Even though the people in your circle haven’t done it before, don’t let that discourage you. Find a way, make a way.
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!”.