Graduating Irondale senior confident for next chapter

Liz Axberg is a student known for her involvement in the community, all around kindness, and dedication to her Irondale sports teams. Three traits she is sure to take with her to St. Catherine’s University this fall.

In May of this year, graduating Irondale senior Liz Axberg was named the Athena Award winner for Irondale High School. Pictured, from left: Chris Torvi, Ron Broberg, Brent McGrew, Liz Axberg, Tom Franta and Amy Janecek. (Submitted photo)

Now 17, Axberg went to Bel Air Elementary and Highview Middle School before attending Irondale High School.

In May of this year, Axberg was named the Athena Award winner for Irondale High School. The St. Paul Area Athena Awards program honors female high school seniors for their athletic achievements. Axberg has excelled in cross country, nordic ski and track. She is the captain of all three teams and without the support of her teammates and community she wouldn’t be who she is today.

“I haven’t always been very confident in what I was doing but sports have definitely helped me gain confidence,” said Axberg. “It has helped me accomplish so much more and it also made me realize I am capable of doing things on my own.”

In addition to her successful sports career, Axberg was recently presented the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn and requires the completion of a leadership project of at least 80 hours. Only 5.4 percent of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award.

As a member of Troop 50948, Axberg organized a trail clean-up day and partnered with Ramsey County to install new trail signs. Ramsey County Parks and Recreation paved a 1.2-mile trail extension within the Rice Creek North Regional Trail Corridor.

Axberg then combined her passion for community service and sports by recruiting her Cross County Ski team to join forces with the Loppet Foundation to offer two free Nordic Ski Lessons this past winter.

“I thought it would be a great way to give back to the community,” said Axberg.

A future leader

With the leadership skills Axberg has acquired as a Girl Scout and team captain, she organized a women’s leadership day at Irondale High School in April.

“I brought in different women who are in leadership roles and they talked about their experiences and backgrounds,” said Axberg. “It was to show the girls at Irondale what they are capable of so they too can gain confidence and walk into a room and feel like they can accomplish whatever they want.”

She became inspired to do so after becoming involved in the female empowering Essence Club at Irondale.

“It is a club where we talk about women’s issues and it made me want to take action,” she added.

The women’s leadership day was so successful that even after Axberg’s departure from Irondale, the school is planning to make it an annual event.

Future plans

In the fall, Axberg will be attending St. Catherine’s University and plans on double majoring in public health and political science.

“I chose St. Catherine’s because I like the small school atmosphere,” she said. “It is a lot more intimate to be on a smaller campus and I also like the aspect that it is an all girls school. I think that is kind of empowering.”

With her degrees, Axberg has hopes of someday working for the Youth Women Christian Association.

“It is a great organization for women and people of color so I would love to be a part of that,” she said.

Advice for incoming freshmen

“Get involved because when you start joining clubs and groups you will find things that you are passionate about and that will help you develop into the person you want to be,” said Axberg.

Contact Sam Lenhart at [email protected]