James Shannon is about to do what few 15-year-olds are able to - travel to Europe.
The Cape Coral Christian School student has been nominated to be a student delegate to the People to People Ambassador Program, which will allow him to spend 20 days traveling in Europe while learning more about the world.
But it's going to take money, and that's what Shannon and his family are trying to do through a variety of fund-raising events.
Shannon was nominated by a teacher due to his test scores on the FCAT. He also said a teacher or student can nominate you, but that person is not revealed to the nominee.
During his trip, Shannon will spend three days with a family in Germany, as well as take in the usual spots and attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, The Mona Lisa and the Hall of Mirrors, among other things, during his seven-country jaunt.
"Our main thing is art, culture, language, history and architecture," Shannon said. "There's also a sports one and a leadership one."
The Shannons have to raise $7,500 by May 1 in order to go, and while they've raised more than half of the total, they still have a long way to go.
That is why Shannon is willing to do anything for anyone to reach his goal.
"I'm going around to businesses asking for money, I going to people and asking if I could cut their lawn to earn the money," Shannon said. "There's someone in Bokeelia who I'm going to help put shoes on their horses. Anything I can do."
Businesses have donated gift certificates for drawings the Shannons are conducting to raise funds, such as a grass trimmer and a day at the beauty parlor, and James is selling belief bracelets for $6.
"I'd like to try to get the businesses involved, so they can get the word out and not just give," Shannon said.
Shannon also has raised money thanks to the generosity of the Cape Coral Farmer's Market, which has allowed him to set up a booth free of charge.
"Every Saturday they have donated a booth. We've raised a majority of our money at the Farmers Market," said James' mother, Melissa.
You can follow Shannon on his Facebook page, where he provides updates on his progress and information on raffles.
In the future, Shannon, a straight A student, will move to Cape Coral High School to take part in the school's International Baccalaureate Program.
"I am very proud of what James has done in a single-parent home. We have been through a lot of struggles and have overcome the statistics," Melissa said. "We just need the help of the community."
People to People travels more than 20,000 ambassadors annually, both student and professional, with the goal of increasing global awareness, the program's Web site said.