An adventurous teenager will embark on the journey of a lifetime next week, travelling to the Phillipines to study some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world.
A-level student Emma Branscome, 17, from Brondesbury Park, Willesden, was one of 20 environmentally-conscious youngsters picked from schools across the country to study the reefs.
The all-expenses paid trip is being organised by charity Coral Cay Conservation, which carries out educational work around the world to protect rainforests and coral reefs.
Miss Branscome heard about the adventure from her teachers at The Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College, in Harlesden.
"A girl from my school went on the trip last year so I went along to a presentation about why coral reefs need to be protected," she said.
"I thought it was a really worthwhile cause, so I applied to go and out of 1,200 people, 50 were invited on a team-building weekend in Southampton. We were interviewed and assessed by the organisers and 20 people were picked."
Miss Brandscome said she was over the moon when she was told the good news by her school.
"I felt great to be picked and I was ecstatic," she added.
"It's overwhelming to think I am going to the Philippines."
On the month-long trip the volunteers will be taught how to use scuba diving equipment and become qualified divers before they venture out on to the reefs.
"Once we have learnt the basics we will be doing two dives a day, surveying and collecting data about the reefs," added the student, who studies geography and biology for her A-levels.
"We will be counting the number of species of fish and charting levels of erosion.
"We will also be doing community work in the local schools, teaching people about reefs and why we need to protect them.
"I want to be a marine biologist when I am older and think it will be really good experience and help me quite a lot."
On the trip, the Brent student will also be taught about underwater ecosystems and by a team of experts.
"Coral reef erosion is a big problem in the Philippines and I have already done a bit of research about it," she added.
"My family are all very excited for me and were really pushing me to go on the trip."
For more on Emma's adventure visit www.coralcay.org .