The Shelby County Schools Adolescent Parenting Program Celebrates Literacy Royally!

The very first school to adopt the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum was the Adolescent Parenting Program in Memphis, TN.  Yay!!!
For the last few years, I’ve been a mentor at the school and implemented the original Life After Birth curriculum, and now we’re excited to take it to the next level by incorporating Literacy using the Higher Learning Standards which provide for more academic rigor and enhanced learning!

“I am amazed at the impact the sessions have on our young mothers who deal with so many challenges. The curriculum covers a host of topics that can be customized to teen parents or generalized to students at large. We all share this “special” time together using Summer’s life through her book as the basis and relating the topics to current life, while showing the girls how overcoming obstacles are sometimes difficult, but a necessary part of life…”  -Ebony Suggs, Professional School Counselor

To kick off the new curriculum, the amazing principal, Melita Thomas, and guidance counselor, Ebony Suggs, organized a literacy tea.

Class by class, the teachers brought in their students. I spoke to the young moms about the importance of literacy while they sipped tea and ate cookies. It was a new experience for each of them, and they really enjoyed it.

Each of the teachers wore black, and the ladies wore pearls but everyone got in on it. The girls even said they wanted to dress up next time! Before they left, I spoke to and took pictures with each girl and signed a copy of my book, Life After Birth, for them. Most of them expressed how excited they were to read it and some shyly thanked me for the book, but I am confident they will read and enjoy it. And LEARN from it.

As I prepared to leave.

I got a text message from the English teacher who had returned to her class. It was a picture of her students voluntarily reading my book before the curriculum implementation even began!

Now, THAT is a success!



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!”.