Kennett High School sophomore Alli Buley couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present than a week-long trip to London doing the thing she loves most – cheerleading.
During a cheerleading summer camp held at Kennett, she was one of two from the school to be chosen as an All-American and will take part in the Queen's Parade on New Year's Day.
'They held All-American tryouts during the camp and they picked me at the end,' Buley said. 'It was pretty surreal winning it this year. I wasn't expecting it.'
Only the top 12 percent of cheerleaders who attend the summer camps across the country are chosen to become an All-American and participate in the parade.
Along with Buley, junior Jordan Barczak of Kennett High School was also chosen, but she won't be attending the trip.
Buley has been practicing along with CDs given to her before heading out to the United Kingdom Dec. 26.
'We practice a dance section that we're going to performing in the parade and also a cheer section,' Buley said.
Her parents were so proud of their daughter being chosen and didn't mind the $3,100 price tag which came along with it for her to go.
'It's an opportunity for Alli to cheer in a national level,' said her mom, Deneen. 'We're really beyond words. It was a big dream of hers and we're really so proud it happened.
'We were just elated that she was selected. The grades were there, her behavior was there. It's nice to be able to reward her with this. She's definitely earned it.'
Buley's parents will watch their daughter from the comforts of home via an internet stream.
'We felt that if we went with her as parents, we wouldn't get to see her,' Deneen said. 'A glimpse in the parade and in the airport, but that's it.'
Buley will be too busy practicing and touring during her seven days abroad.
The all-inclusive trip will have her visiting the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abby, just to name a few.
One of the new people she will meet on the trip is her roommate from Great Neck North High School in New York, though they have been getting to know each other through social media.
It has been a long wait for Buley since the summer and now that the trip is finally here, she can't hold back her excitement.
'I'm thrilled to go,' she said. 'It still doesn't seem real because I've been waiting for it since the summer. I'm so excited to meet new people and perform so far away from home.'