Female athletes from Iowa are special in many ways; here at the IGHSAU we work to recognize the “Iowa Girl” and share our enthusiasm for the good that she represents. There is something unique in every Iowa Girl, whether that be leadership, dedication or compassion. Each one has a story worth sharing.
Welcome to the Iowa Girl Project. Join fellow Iowa Girl Mia Laube as she shares the stories of Iowa Girls who are taking the skills they learned through their education and athletic career above and beyond. These women are making a positive impact on their communities, big and small. They inspire the next generation to compete in sports and conquer the challenges ahead.
Proud to be an Iowa Girl!
Iowa Girls SHOOT FOR THE STARS.
Meteorologist Amber Alexander shows that anything can be achieved— all one needs to do is begin and never give up.
Amber Alexander has made a career out of putting herself out there.
As a freshman at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, she tried tennis for the first time and made varsity, claiming the No. 1 position as a junior and senior. Her thought process?
“It’s never too late to try a sport.”
Even though the American Meteorological Society reports women making up only 29% of weathercaster positions and 8% of chief meteorologist positions, she chased her dream career, and she’s landed every job she has applied for, even though she never expected it.
When she was hired for her current job at WHO-TV in Des Moines, her last day in Nebraska was Christmas Day. She started her new job in Iowa five days later.
Alexander says her success has come from keeping her mind and options open. However, she’s had the same dream since middle school.
“When I was in sixth grade, I literally wrote on a piece of paper that I wanted to be a meteorologist and go to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,” Alexander said. “And that’s exactly what I did.”
Whether it be meteorology or sports, she’s put in the time. Alexander described a typical day in high school: dance practice at 6:15 a.m. until class started, volleyball right after class until around 6:30 p.m. and a mad dash to the football field to dance at the game.
She also juggled a club volleyball schedule in Nebraska and Western Iowa.
“I was so blessed that [my parents] let me do all those things at once,” she said.
When she went to college, that work ethic opened many doors for her as a meteorology and climatology major. Throughout college, she interned with the Nebraska State Climatologist.
“I had my own office at age 19, which I was pretty stoked about,” Alexander said.
Now, she shows other young, aspiring meteorologists they can do it, too. She teaches “Storm School” at the Science Center of Iowa, which she called one of the most rewarding things she does.
“I strive to help these kids achieve their dream in any way that I can,” Alexander said. “Most of the time, their parents can't answer the tough weather questions they may have, so talking to a real meteorologist can help them grow and get excited about weather.”
In the spirit of the Iowa Girl, Alexander also strives to uplift other women. She says that often, women compete when they should support one another.
“There’s no point in dragging each other down,” she said. “That goes for sports, too. You need your teammates.”