GREENBURGH. N.Y. - Cherelle Alyssia Marie, who has been a cheerleader since her elementary school days, achieved one of her dreams this summer by making the New York-area Gotham City Cheerleaders.
While Cherelle has enjoyed success as an entertainer, dancer and cheerleader, the Greenburgh resident's long-range plans inlcude a career in medicine. She graduated Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale then Pleasantville's Pace University with a degree in biology.
"My professional goal is to become a physician," Cherelle said. "I plan on applying to medical school in June 2014 and beginning in fall 2015. Currently, I am preparing for the MCAT (medical school entrance test). I've had a dream of being a cheerleader since elementary school. "
The Gotham City Cheerleaders are a team of professional dancers dedicated to sports entertainment and the New York Giants. The team will host its first annual swimsuit calendar release Sept. 6 at M1-5 Lounge in Manhattan.
Part of the proceeds of the Gotham calendar sales will be donated to Superstorm Sandy victims in the New York City area.
"New York has been through a lot this past year, and we intend on highlighting the beautiful sites and talent that make up our classic state,” said Ana De Villegas, executive director of the Gotham City Cheerleaders and former Washington Redskins cheerleader. "It’s only right that we give that back to the fans and local businesses that have helped us make this calendar a reality.”
Cherelle started cheering as a young girl and it has remained a passion of hers since.
"I first became a cheerleader while attending St. Barnabas Elementary School in Yonkers," Cherelle said. "I was a new student to the school and I decided to try cheerleading as a way to make friends and excel physically. I ended up falling in love with the sport and I continued cheerleading during high school."
Cherelle said she made the Gotham team through auditions but underwent an intense boot camp before becoming an official member.
"The (Gotham Cheerleaders) appears at every home-game tailgate of the New York Giants," Cherelle said. "We participate in numerous promotional appearances, including charity and sponsorship events. The team also holds two boot camp/dance rehearsals each week."
While Cherelle cheered, she also dedicated herself to her studies, which led to a degree in biology at Pace, from where she graduated this spring. While at Pace, she participated in a research program that may be useful in revealing heart failure.
"The research was cardiovascular based and focused on determining if enzymes, such as acetylcholinesterase can be used as markers for heart failure," Cherelle said. "Basically, we wanted to see if a increase or decrease in an enzyme could possibly be used as an early determinant for the onset of heart failure."
Cherelle has been able to handle her love of dance performance and her studies while grabbing some television time. She was featured on an MTV show called "Girl Get Your Mind Right." The show is hosted by Tionna Smalls, a relationship expert/ life coach. Each episode highlights a specific girl and her dating "issue."
"The 30-minute episode featured myself, my home, and short appearances by my cousin and childhood best friend." Cherelle said "My episode aired on May 22."
Cherelle also coaches her sister's youth cheerleading team at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Elmsford.
"I've spent the last three school years as the head coach and I can proudly say that the team placed first at our very first cheerleading competition in January 2012 at Cardinal Spellman High School in Bronx," Cherelle said.
She also helped found the Eta Tau chapter of Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority at Pace University. The sorority now boasts more than 40 members since its inception in 2011.
While prepping for the MCATs, Cherelle will be spending the next 11 months as a member of AmeriCorps working at Open Door Health Center in Ossining as a part of the Community Health Corps program.
"I feel as though (AmeriCorps) will be a great experience to have prior to beginning medical school," she said.
And just one more part of a well-rounded life that gives Cherelle good reason to cheer.