Meet junior Emily Axelrod, the remarkable young girl inspiring many around her through her passion for making the school and community better a place for all.
Axelrod, who won first place in the Let Your Light Shine Contest, represented Glen A. Wilson at the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Speech Contest.
As a member of the student senate, Axelrod is always aware and considerate of her fellow peers’ struggles that she constantly hears around campus, and this was one of the main inspirations behind the topic of her speech at the contest.
“My speech was mainly inspired by the student struggles I’ve heard around campus and in student senate meetings,” Axelrod shares. I wanted the educators to hear all that, and more importantly, the solutions for them.”
Furthermore, she also felt like the speech was an important moment for her as she was able to speak her mind and tell educators directly what she and others felt during the entirety of her speech.
“I saw an opportunity for me to tell the educators what needed to be said. The prompt was enticing, and finally, for three minutes, my voice could be heard” says Axelrod.
The second round for the ASCA speech competitions will be next week, something that Axelrod looks forward to and will be putting her all into, regardless of outcome.
In addition, Axelrod is also a varsity member of the girls water polo team, an activity that she really enjoys participating in and even considers her fellow teammates to be family. “Everyone on the team is super close, and we formed a strong community.” Axelrod warmly remarks
From the moment the game starts, Axelrod is in full game mode, with no space for nervousness to take over.
“For me, the moment the whistle blows, I let loose in the water,” she says. “There are moments where I see the other team’s sets and feel doomed, but I’ve never felt nervous. Water polo is truly a fun sport for me.”
Despite the challenges that the team faced such as having irregular practice sessions as well as a relatively new and inexperienced team, Axelrod shares how it is the family that the team formed with each other that mattered most to her during such an unconventional season.
“The most important thing was for us to stick together. We kept as a team, and played as a team. Everyone on the team is super close, and we formed a strong community,” Axelrod reflects.
To add to her long list of accomplishments, Axelrod is also the other junior captain of Mock Trial, helping to lead her team to success despite numerous hardships.
“Being junior captain of Mock Trial definitely isn’t easy,” Axelrod confessed. “The group is completely student-led but we have to depend on our advisor to get forms and schedules. This year, we received our schedules much later due to communications, forcing some people to either miss a meet or rearrange their roles.”
Despite all this, Axelrod still led her team to the best of her ability and maintained a positive outlook, trusting that things will be better next year.
“Next year, we will take into account what we did right or wrong this year, and practice more on those aspects. We have brilliant junior captains coming next year who will be the extra support that we need to win this thing,” she reflects.
Above all, Axelrod is a International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) student, pushing herself beyond her limits.
As for why she decided to join IB, Axelrod states that “IB fit my learning style. Instead of one test at the end of the year, IB has persistent essays and assignments throughout the year to showcase what I know.”
One such assignment that she loved was the IB Theatre Collaborative assignment in which a group of students designed an entire play from scratch and performed it for the audience.
While many may find IB intimidating, Axelrod shares how IB has shaped her as a person as well as helped her grow along the way.
“I definitely learned to be more responsible with deadlines and I learned how to manage and keep on top of them,” she says.
Axelrod hopes to pursue neuroscience in the future and become a neuroscientist in the medical field. Although that may seem a long way off, Axelrod already has several research projects she has in mind that she hopes to put into motion as soon as she can.
Without a doubt, her dedication, and her passion to help those around her is very inspiring to many and she sure will shine anywhere she goes.