What you don’t know about Ms. Virginia

Next week, Laura Eilers, AKA Ms. Virginia , will compete for the title of Ms. United States. The Science Cheerleaders–current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders pursuing science and engineering careers–are very fortunate to have Laura as our extremely talented choreographer and creative director.

Here are some thing you probably don’t know about Laura:

In addition to being a former cheerleader for the St. Louis Rams, cheerleader and choreographer for the Kansas City Chiefs, and an NFL Hall of Fame Game Cheerleader, she’s the creator of Going Pro Entertainment, LLC, a network of professional cheerleading and dance alumni, and she’s the director of the dance team for the Richmond Raiders (Southern Indoor Football Team).

Here are some things you almost certainly do not know about Laura:

In school, her favorite science projects included “creating an amoeba structure out of cookie cake and icing, researching anthropologist Dian Fossey and her work with gorillas, as well as engineering a balsa wood structure that could withstand heavy weights. My team and I tested the structure repeatedly and competed with other schools for the strongest balsa structure.”

She was the elementary school spelling bee champion, district spelling bee champion and placed top 10 in the county, where she won a set of encyclopedias. “At the school level, I was eliminated after spelling “wizardry” … but the judges soon realized I had the correct spelling. Thank goodness for instant replay! I kept my “lucky” spelling bee button for at least 10 years and brought it to my NFL cheerleading auditions, not sure where I lost it!”

She received her high school’s Principal’s Leadership Award and graduated 12th of 442 with a GPA of 4.2, taking 5 years of Spanish and more than the required number of math credits. During her senior year, she was a teacher’s assistant in advanced geometry.

Laura graduated magna cum laude from William Jewell College and was a finalist for the President’s Service Award.

And, yes, she “most definitely believes evolution should be taught to our children.”

GOOD LUCK, LAURA!