CALEXICO,Calif. - For 16-year-old Andrea Ni Li, it's an opportunity of a lifetime.
A second-year drum major for the Calexico High school Marching band, Li defied the odds and was named an all American.
"Really hard to gain one. Because everyone won sweepstakes, championships like individually. So in my head I was like there's no way have gotten it," said Li.
Leading a group of over 150 band students, Li said being a drum major has always been her passion.
"Seeing their emotions, seeing everything they express, it just pulled me in as an attraction to being a drum major. Music is able to express your emotions. Express how you feel."
Li's band director Carlos Navarette, never doubted her potential.
"Leadership, mace work. Her talent, her vocal skills. Just her personality."
Li now has the chance to represent the valley in a new years day parade in Italy, but the price tag is a whopping $15,000 for her, her music director and a chaperone.
Navarette added, "That's going to include transportation. It's going to include housing for her, it's going to include the equipment she'll get going out there."
Calexico High School Principal, Gabrielle Willams said the school is trying to help her reach that goal.
"Reaching out to local businesses. Reaching out to other educators. Again this is a community effort. And yes it highlights Calexico High School but more importantly, it highlights our community, Imperial Valley. The programs we have here for our students," said Williams.
Music has always been part of Li's life.
To help Andrea on her trip to Italy you can click here.