James would like nothing more than to toil under the searing African sun, helping to build a school near Nairobi, Kenya.
If he goes, James will be part of a Me to We group doing humanitarian work in the East African country from July 11 to Aug. 4.
James said he'll be laying bricks for the school building's foundation.
However, it's an expensive undertaking.
Currently in Grade 9 at Westview, James needs to raise $5,000 to fund his trip.
The idea took root about six months ago, when James attended a Me to We Conference at Vancouver's Rogers Arena.
There, he filled out forms to go on the trip. The very next weekend James received a phone call, asking if he'd be interested in joining the Me to We team.
James initially applied because he was inspired by the resolve of the Kenyan people.
"I've seen them at the Olympics and everywhere, and see that they can come from somewhere so sad and so poor, and still do so well in different places," James said.
"It really made me want to help them and not just let them suffer."
James is about a fifth of the way towards his fundraising goal, and he's getting a helping hand from Westview textiles teacher Andrea Humer.
She is raffling off a handmade quilt that took her roughly 30 hours to create, and hopes any money made from that will push the dollar amount higher.
Through the raffle, Humer hopes to raise $1,000 for the cause.
Humer met James when he took her Grade 8 sewing class. Once she heard about his trip, Humer felt compelled to help him.
"As a teacher, educator, and as an adult, if we can do anything to encourage kids. we often give kids a bad rap, so I want to support him in every way I can, because I think it's going to be life altering for him," Humer said.
James appreciates the support. "I thought it was amazing," he said. "I honestly thought I was going to be on my own this entire time. I found out that I can get more help from people that I wouldn't expect."
A movie night and other fundraisers are also in the works.
James said he's "pretty confident" he and his supporters will be able to raise the funds necessary for him to go to Africa.
"I'm giving all I've got into it," he said. To buy raffle tickets or to simply donate to the trip, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more about Me to We, visit www. metowe.com.
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