A little over two years ago, my high school’s athletic director told me about the opportunity to apply for the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (IGHSAU SAAC). I knew right away this was an opportunity that I wanted to take, and looking back, I am glad that I did. Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of representing Iowa’s high school girl athletes. Being a member of the IGHSAU SAAC has given me many unique opportunities that I am grateful for. Additionally, being part of this committee has pushed me to grow as a leader and individual. 

Thinking back to the first meeting, which was at the beginning of my junior year, I remember how nervous I was. Prior to the start of that school year, I decided to work on being a better leader within my school and community. The IGHSAU SAAC was the perfect opportunity to grow in leadership skills, as it helped me feel more comfortable with sharing my ideas, as well as working with a team of other girls. Working at state competitions was perhaps the most valuable, as it helped me grow to be more confident interacting with people I had never met. In addition to these lessons, I learned how to interact with others in a professional manner. The lessons I learned as a member of the IGHSAU SAAC translated to my experiences at school, and they will translate to my experiences as a college student, employee, and citizen in the future.

Some of the most memorable experiences from high school come from my time with the IGHSAU SAAC. It was cool to see all the different aspects of planning and work that go into making high school sports possible. Furthermore, being a small part of the operation of state competitions was not only insightful, it was also very fun to meet other girl athletes from across the state. Perhaps one of the most memorable experiences I have had on this committee was at the 2020 Girls State Basketball Tournament when I had the opportunity to meet the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa and talk with him.

Being a member of the inaugural IGHSAU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was a very meaningful experience for me, and getting to know the ten other girls on the committee, as well as many IGHSAU staff members over the past two years was amazing. It was an honor to serve the girl athletes in the state of Iowa as their representative to the IGHSAU.

To the future members of the IGHSAU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee:

Being a member of this committee will bring much opportunity for growth, along with many fun experiences, but the next two years will fly by. Soak up every bit of these two years because it is a time filled with valuable lessons and unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else. Finally, set a good example for others by showing those around you who the Iowa Girl is.

I am a second generation Iowa girl athlete. My mom was a cheerleader, as well as a basketball and tennis player in high school. Though my mom encouraged me to participate in sports, she ultimately wanted me to do activities that I enjoyed. Because of this, I knew that whatever I chose to do, I would have her support. From seventh grade through senior year, I participated in cross country, basketball, and track and field, and my mom encouraged and supported me all along the way. She is also a major reason I chose to play basketball - I wanted to be like her. My mom inspired me to be a high school athlete, and I hope to inspire younger girls to participate in high school athletics as well. For me, this starts with being a good role model to them. Then, encouraging younger girls to find which sports they enjoy being part of, and supporting them as Iowa Girls.