Growing up, I had so many insecurities. First, I didn’t have enough hair for ponytails so people called me a boy. Second, I had big teeth and sucked my thumb so people called me a rabbit.
I was skinny so people called me to stick. And I went through puberty and gained weight so people called me fat. I got acne and had stretch marks so people commented on that too.
Although it was negative, one thing was true…people saw me. People were watching me. Always. And guess what, people are watching you too. Maybe they have something mean to say or possibly something nice. Maybe nothing at all. But the reality is, people see you and everything you do.
I learned early on that I had an audience. Those people were watching me so I decided to give them something worth seeing. Something encouraging, something inspiring, and hopefully something that would make them want to be their personal best as they saw me trying to be my best.
Outstanding Young Alumna
Last November, I was honored with the Outstanding Young Alumna award at the University of Memphis. A video was created highlighting why I was selected. This video, pictured in this post, is shown at every basketball and football game this school year.
Am I depicted as perfect? No, and never want to be because that is nowhere near the truth. The video shows me as a young, college single mom doing my best to be a great student making a difference in my life, my son’s life, and my school.
Now, God has blessed me and made it possible for SO many people to see me. Will some people talk badly about me? Sure, but I’m used to that. Will some people be inspired and encouraged? I sure hope so…and I really do think so.
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!”.