Meet Chelsea Pe Benito, Philadelphia Eagles’ newest cheerleader

“Literacy in elementary school is crucial to a child’s development as it improves reading, writing, and speaking skills, so I knew the importance of this project and the impact it would have on the youth,” Chelsea told the Asian Journal, explaining her efforts in donating over 2,000 books and upgrading an elementary school library in the Philippines. “My hope is to continue my philanthropic efforts within my local community and beyond and I am so excited to do so as a Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader!”
Photos courtesy of Philadelphia Eagles

A spirited and fun-loving Filipino American, Chelsea Pe Benito embodies the convergence of passion, dedication, and a commitment to make a difference. Born to parents who sought the American Dream, her journey from her family’s roots in the Philippines to her role as a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles is a testament to her relentless pursuit of dreams and her unwavering support system.

Chelsea’s parents embarked on their American journey in October 1994, leaving behind their homeland in search of a better life. Her father hails from Quezon City while her mother originates from the picturesque Santiago City up north. Nearly three decades later, their pursuit of a brighter future for Chelsea and her younger brother, Matthew, has resulted in a legacy of inspiration.

Since Chelsea was just three years old, her parents noticed she loved moving around a lot. So, they signed her up for dance classes. This early start made her really love performing, and that passion has stuck with her as she grew up. Now, as a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles, Chelsea brings the same excitement to the field that she had when she first fell in love with dance.

Joining the ranks of the Philadelphia Eagles cheer team was a dream come true for Chelsea. Beyond the glitz and glamour, she was drawn to the team’s deep commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and community engagement. As an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) excelling in the field of STEM, Chelsea aspires to be a beacon of hope for future generations. Her message is clear: dreams are within reach, whether in the realms of oncology clinical research or professional dance.

The rigorous audition process for the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders spanned two intense months, commencing in April and concluding in June. Chelsea faced multiple rounds of assessments, including an open call, a comprehensive group interview, and a final audition that demanded both dance prowess and a showcase of her individuality.

Being one of the newest members of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader is a dream come true for Chelsea and she says it is an honor to be a part of such a prestigious organization like the Philadelphia Eagles. “I love how I can continue my passion for dance performing in front of a stadium full of 70,000+ fans while also serving the community and participating in the organization’s important initiatives,” she said.

“I was thrilled when I received the news that I was one of eight new members selected to be part of the 33-member squad,” she told the Asian Journal. “Being one of the newest members of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader is a dream come true and it’s an honor to be a part of such a prestigious organization like the Philadelphia Eagles. I love how I can continue my passion for dance performing in front of a stadium full of 70,000+ fans while also serving the community and participating in the organization’s important initiatives.

The public’s view of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders may be confined to their spirited performances at Lincoln Financial Field, but there’s a deeper story waiting to be told. This dynamic team comprises dedicated professionals pursuing full-time careers or educational pursuits. Among their ranks are nurses, physical therapists, historians, chemists, teachers, and cancer researchers, all united by a shared commitment to community service.

As cheerleaders, they extend their impact far beyond game days. They actively engage in the organization’s philanthropic endeavors, participating in initiatives that support youth programs, autism research, and military goodwill tours.

“Not only are we talented entertainers, but we are global brand ambassadors for the Eagles year-round and participate in many of the organization’s philanthropic efforts locally and globally,” Chelsea shared. “As brand ambassadors, we have a unique platform to serve as role models through our involvement in Eagles youth programs, raise awareness and funds for innovative autism research and care programs through our Eagles Autism Foundation, and communicate initiatives as media representatives for the team.”

Balancing a demanding career in oncology clinical research with the rigors of cheerleading for an NFL team requires exceptional time management and organizational skills. Chelsea’s schedule is a testament to her dedication: bi-weekly evening rehearsals, game days on Sundays (or Mondays/Thursdays for primetime matches), and a smattering of appearances, including community service and corporate events. Through it all, Chelsea’s love for both her professions fuels her ability to manage and thrive in these dual roles.

Chelsea has been a Girl Scout since the 1st grade, marking her early involvement in diverse charitable activities. One organization that holds a special place in her heart is the Make-A-Wish Foundation, known for fulfilling the wishes of children facing life-threatening illnesses. As a member of the Chi Omega sorority, she actively participated in initiatives to raise awareness for the foundation. Alongside her sorority, she organized and hosted various fundraising events across the college campus. All proceeds from these events were dedicated to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation, aiming to bring joy to the children and their families by making their wishes come true.

Chelsea’s philanthropic endeavors extend to global initiatives, exemplified by her involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This organization grants the wishes of children battling life-threatening illnesses, an initiative that Chelsea actively supports.

In a testament to her deep connection to her heritage, Chelsea also spearheaded a project to upgrade an elementary school library in the Philippines. Her efforts resulted in the donation of over 2,000 books and essential resources, a heartwarming endeavor that has undoubtedly transformed the educational experience for a number of Filipino children.

“Having the opportunity to take my philanthropic efforts globally in the country where my parents were born and raised was important to me. My aunt is a teacher at the Masambong Elementary School in Quezon City and expressed the need for supplies in her school’s library,” she shared. “I adopted the public school library to provide students with essential resources. I hosted multiple fundraising events and book drives across the Tri-State area. Literacy in elementary school is crucial to a child’s development as it improves reading, writing, and speaking skills, so I knew the importance of this project and the impact it would have on the youth.”

“My family have been my biggest cheerleaders through it all and were elated when they found out that I made the Philadelphia Eagles Cheer team (especially Matt who goes to school in Philadelphia!) Their endless support in all my endeavors mean the absolute world and I am so lucky and grateful to have the best support system,” Chelsea said.

Chelsea Pe Benito embodies the best of both worlds, balancing a flourishing career in oncology clinical research with her dedication to being a Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader. Her journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring youth, reminding them that with passion, determination, and robust family support, they can overcome any obstacles to achieve their dreams.

 

 

Momar G. Visaya

Momar G. Visaya is the Executive Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach him at [email protected].

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