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She’s 95 and Fine! Celebrating My Grandma

Besides God and my internal drive, this beautiful lady is the reason for my S.O. What! success story. My survival and success a teenage mother.
Grandma is 95

In 1995, I gave birth at the age of 15 and I lived with my grandmother, Agnes (Dorothy) Idella Owens. Not that my mother was not there or helpful, but she had four younger children of her own. For two years I worked hard in school and on my two jobs so that I could provide for my son and earn a college scholarship. My grandmother, in her seventies, was my babysitter while I went to school, stayed after school for meetings, and went to work.

In 1997 when I moved to Memphis for college, she let my son stay with her for my first year.

I went home to Jackson nearly every weekend and brought him back to Memphis sneaking him in my dorm room as often as I could. But she made it possible for me to be a normal college student and get a great start. I made the most of that opportunity determined to make her and my son proud.
A year and a half later I moved my son to Memphis, and I am forever grateful to my grandmother for allowing me the opportunity to lay the foundation for a career and a life where I could take care of myself and my son and even do for her.

On March 10th, this amazing woman turned 95 years young. We celebrated her life with flowers, family, and fun while she is still here to enjoy them all!

The oldest living member of our family, she has hundreds of nieces and nephews many of who flew in from everywhere to be with her. Her twin daughters and their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were there, and my beautiful grandmother couldn’t have been happier.

(Grandma’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren We were ALL dressed nicely in purple, black, and white, but the kids changed to play before the photos.)

One of the highlights of the night was the Dorothy through the Decades Fashion show organized by one of her great-nieces and modeled by her granddaughter (me), her great-great-granddaughter (my granddaughter) as well great-nieces.

Grandma is 95 with a mind and memory better than anyone I know.

She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s beautiful, she’s kind, and she’s caring. And she’s everything I strive to be. If I’m blessed to see 95, I want to be exactly like her.

I thank God for her, and I’m thankful she can enjoy my granddaughter and pose in our five-generation photo. We are more than blessed to have her and look forward to celebrating her 100th birthday!



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!”.