TEN Science Cheerleaders on the Playoff Sidelines–Houston Texans

Hello, Science Cheerleader fans! It’s playoff season for the NFL, and while we recognize the athletic prowess displayed by the players on the football field, we can’t overlook the science-minded cheerleaders to be found on the sidelines. Here we present the Houston Texans, who will be playing the New England Patriots January 14 in one of the AFC Divisional Playoffs. Good luck, ladies!

Callie

I attended Texas A&M University in hopes of becoming a Petroleum Engineer, but God definitely had a different plan for me. He said, “Why not teach others to become engineers?” I currently teach 4th grade Math and Science which incorporates STEM daily, and it’s one of the most rewarding jobs I could have asked for.

In the future, I hope to continue to inspire others in and out of the classroom. The science behind nutrition and nature is so intriguing to me. With that being said, I want to eventually give back and help start gardens along with sharing the importance of nutrition at local elementary schools.

Being a cheerleader and a teacher is something that is beyond motivating to students. Cheerleaders are there to motivate and encourage, so I’d say I set the tone for my class. We love incorporating sports, physical activities, and teamwork into our STEM related assignments every day.

Besides cheering for our team on the sidelines, I’d say one of my favorite things about being a cheerleader is being able to get involved at schools besides my own. It’s awesome to connect with students all over the Houston area. It’s motivating and inspiring for them to see us as not only cheerleaders, but as professionals and educators too. It’s proof that hard work pays off, and anyone can achieve their goals and dreams in the future.

Megan K.

I have a B.S. in Health Science from Baylor University with aConcentration in Pre-Physical Therapy. I am currently a middle school math teacher.

When I was a kid, Sudoku was one of my favorite activities and I daily watched “The Magic School Bus” take a virtual ride through the human body with curiosity and amazement. I have always loved science and math and I had amazing teachers in high school who mentored and encouraged me to pursue my passion as a career. I currently teach 6th grade math at a middle school that serves a lower-income community where over 77% of students are at risk for dropping out of school. I have always had a strong desire to work and serve in communities that are in need so when I moved to Houston, the opportunity to teach in a subject area that I love presented itself and I pursued it. Instilling a love and appreciation for math in students who have struggled in the subject area is so rewarding. It is fun to observe when something “clicks” for them and I get excited to show them how they can use mathematical principles in their everyday lives.

I know that a STEM career will definitely be in my future. I’m extremely interested in the area of public health and would eventually like to return to graduate school to pursue an advanced degree in this area. I would someday like to be able to provide educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged women and children to help them better understand how to live a healthy lifestyle and thrive physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

I think my experience in STEM activities has taught me how to be patient and persevere through the hard stuff. I believe it has instilled a “never give up” attitude that has been beneficial as a cheerleader. It has helped me have a positive attitude in every circumstance and an enthusiasm to be challenged and to look forward to new opportunities. It has also helped me to be an encourager—to cheer on others to help them reach their goals and dreams.

As a Houston Texans cheerleader, I love engaging with our community in events that encourage health and wellness. One of my favorite community activities is when we visit area Children’s Hospitals and visit with patients—their smiles are priceless and it brings me joy to encourage young people in their fight to regain their health. I also have started a dance club at the middle school I teach at; helping young girls develop their self-confidence and body awareness through dance and movement has been incredibly rewarding.

Morgan O

In 2015 I earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Opt. IV Actuarial Sciences from the University of Texas – Austin (hook ‘em). I actually started out my undergraduate career as a Microbiology, Pre-Med student but when I began taking mathematics-based courses I quickly realized that I had a passion for numbers, and right before my junior year I made the official switch over to the Mathematics side of science. In 2017, I began working towards a second Bachelor of Science – this time with a focus in Accounting. My future scholastic endeavors include sitting for the CPA exam and attending graduate school to earn an MBA.

Currently, I am a Project Manager for an environmental services company where I review profit and losses, analyze monthly data and create trends, and update and review key performance indexes. In working in this field, there are often ups and downs – and when the numbers are low you have to stay positive. Being a cheerleader is often the same way, sometimes you may be down 14 points in the game, but that certainly does not mean your team won’t come back in the last 7 minutes, take the game into overtime and take home a big win against the Colts. One of the things that I love most about being a Houston Texans Cheerleader is that we get the opportunity to bring our #TEAM positivity out into the community. This year, I have had the honor of interacting with thousands of people at over 50 appearances, many of them gave me the opportunity to speak to children about their ability to do anything they set their mind to – including being an NFL cheerleader AND have a career in STEM.

Natalie G.

I am a certified Pharmacy Technician at CVS pharmacy, and I am currently pursuing my career as a diagnostic medical sonographer with a Bachelor of Science degree. I plan to further my education in the fall at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

From a young age, my passion has been science. All I ever wanted was to be able to help others in any way possible, mentally and physically. My senior year of high school, I was given the opportunity to join a nursing and pharmacy technician program to begin my journey. After graduating high school, I took my pharmacy technician exam, passed, and became a certified pharmacy technician. I plan to explore and expand my science education and career by becoming a diagnostic medical sonographer.

In the future, I hope to save many lives by diagnosing many medical conditions as a diagnostic medical sonographer. Through my experiences, I also hope to inspire many young people, including cheerleaders, to consider careers in science and to break the stereotype one might portray upon a professional cheerleader.

The connections I have made as a professional cheerleader and a professional in the medical field have given me the opportunity to improve my communication skills while working with patients and interacting with fans. Motivation is key in both cheerleading and in science; it allows you to inspire others even when all odds are against you.

I am very grateful to be able to help my community as a pharmacy technician by keeping others healthy and will continue to do so as a diagnostic medical sonographer. As a professional cheerleader, I am able to encourage and inspire young women to never give up on their passion for cheer while taking on a science career, because anything is possible.

Natalie Y.

I am pursuing a Doctor of Audiology at Lamar University. I have a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Texas A&M University.

My passion in life is to enhance the lives of people with hearing loss.  I received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis in special education.  During my time at Texas A&M, I was an avid member of Best Buddies, Project Sunshine, and Special Olympics. I whole-heartedly enjoyed offering my time and love to people with special needs and disabilities.  Through these organizations and experiences, I was given the opportunity to work with and befriend individuals with syndromic hearing losses.  It was during my tenure at Texas A&M University that I was introduced to the field of audiology. The complex, scientific, and fascinating field of audiology instantly captivated me. Within this field, I am able to incorporate my love of helping those in need with my love of learning and healthcare sciences.

When I enter the profession of audiology, I plan to focus my clinical career on helping individuals with auditory impairments hear the world, with an emphasis on those with special needs and intellectual disabilities.  As an audiologist, I will continue engaging in charitable and educational events in my community by providing screenings and educational hearing conservation programs. Additionally, I hope to be a role model to young girls in my community, showing them that no goal is out of reach. With hard work and dedication, anything is possible. Continue to reach for the stars!

Within the field of audiology, with the use of hearing aids and cochlear implants, I am able to give the gift of hearing back to those who have suffered hearing loss. This directly relates to my cheerleading experiences because it would be difficult to stay on beat and hear the music if I personally experienced hearing loss.  The sense of hearing may be taken for granted by those of us who have not ever experienced the loss before. So through my profession I am able to increase someone’s quality of life by giving him or her the ability to completely hear the world around them.

As an ambassador for the Houston Texans, I have had the opportunity to participate in several events throughout my community. One of the opportunities that stands out to me the most is leading a cheer clinic for young girls at Texas Children’s Hospital. Most of these young girls are battling cancer and other illnesses, so being able to put a smile on their faces through dance and cheer was so heartwarming and moving. It was a very humbling experience to witness these girls leave all their worries behind and enjoy the moment. Through the field of audiology, I have had many opportunities to provide hearing screenings to the community. In addition to the numerous volunteer opportunities, I also coordinated a humanitarian event in which I educated drumline students at a local high school about the adverse effects noise exposure from musical instruments has on one’s hearing and the importance of hearing conservation. I am thankful for the opportunities that both the fields of audiology and NFL cheerleading has afforded me in making a positive impact on my community and those around me.

Taylor C.

I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a degree in Accounting/ Production & Revenue Analyst for a Fortune 500 Energy Company. My degree is from Texas State University – San Marcos.

I originally came into college with an entirely different major, and after taking a test at my Career Advising Center, all of my interests and skills aligned with the accounting profession. I remember taking my first accounting test in college and actually had fun–that’s when I knew this was for me! As an accounting major, it is fairly typical in my field to go on to work for an accounting firm right out of college. Having lived in the “Energy Capital of the World” my entire life, I decided to take a different path. The energy industry has always fascinated me, and I have held positions where I utilize my analytical skills from accounting, in conjunction with working closely with operational engineers, field personnel, and land representatives to ensure we are allocating production volumes properly and revenue is being booked timely and accurately every month. I would like to go back to school and get my Master’s Degree in Accounting and obtain my CPA license.

I have come to find that accounting and cheerleading are both very detail oriented and precise. As an NFL cheerleader, precision is KEY to executing a dance routine well, and requires the efforts of everyone on the team to perform the dance together as one. It is the little details that we spend so much time on that make a dance go from good to great. It is these same skills I have refined in my career that help me to analyze and solve problems. Whether it is nailing a halftime performance, or getting the desired output I am expecting in Excel, I can leave the stadium or my office feeling satisfied!

My company is heavily involved in the community. I have spent time at the Houston Food Bank, as well as making bagged lunches for the homeless community. We have visited nursing homes and made cards of encouragement for people needing a little positive motivation in their lives. My community involvement also carries into cheerleading as well- where perhaps the most rewarding experiences have been attending Texas Children’s Hospital and getting to visit with some pretty amazing kids! Being a cheerleader has allowed me to be a positive role model in the community where children look up to me the same way I looked up to the Texans Cheerleaders when I was a little girl.

See also these other science-minded cheerleaders on the Texans squad:

Adriana, Engineering Major

Ashley S., Nursing Major

Kelly, Speech Pathology Master’s Student

Madison, Nursing Major

To see our full list of Houston Texans Science Cheerleaders, check out our team page here.