My friends came through for me in a big way during my pregnancy. I experienced firsthand the power of teen friendships at work. My 15-year-old friends came together with the little they had to throw me a baby shower. That big gesture touched me beyond words. Even more touching were the smaller gestures of support throughout my pregnancy. These were kids who didn’t have much money, yet they did what they could to show me that they cared. More than 30 years later, we are still friends.
I am amazed that I made friends in my earlier school years, I was a pariah. The students at my school teased me calling me a boy and beaver. They even created an ‘I-hate-Summer-club’. So, to have a group of friends who I could talk to, and count on taught me the power of teen friendships. When your friends have been supportive and shown you they care, remember to show your appreciation. Be a good friend by being there for them in their time of need.
The Power of Family
Besides my friends, my parents and grandparents were my other supporters. In fact, I called my mom my silent supporter. She didn’t say much but she always took time from her job to take me for doctor’s appointments. Do you have people like my friends, parents and grandparents who have supported you through tough times? The love and support of my family got me through my pregnancy and taught me two things:
- Be thankful for the people in your life
It’s easy to be disappointed by the people you think should have supported you but aren’t there. Focus and appreciate those who are there for you. These could be your godparents, teachers, mentors, or even people from our church.
- Appreciate the people in your life who are offering guidance and support
Remember they’ve been where you are now before. You might feel all grown-up and think you know everything. In truth, you still have a lot to learn and should rely on their wise counsel to steer you in the right direction.
As always, I come back to this question: how are you showing appreciation for the power of family and teen friendships in your life?
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!”.