This summer, 20-year-old Laguna College of Art + Design student Jessica Necor will do something she's never done: travel outside of the U.S. to the Philippines.
On July 18, the graphic design major will join seven others on a three-week trip, where they will build homes, pass out needed supplies and interact with residents.
The group is part of an international youth ministry called Couples for Christ-Youth and will also help victims of Typhoon Bopha, which ravaged the southern Philippines in December.
The storm claimed more than 1,000 lives, CNN reported.
"I'm excited to immerse myself in their culture," Necor said. "This will take me out of my comfort zone."
Necor, who grew up in Antioch, has been with the ministry for six years. The organization has held a benefit concert in the past to raise money for prior trips to the Philippines.
In the past six years, volunteers have built 30 homes in Mayao Crossing, Lucena City, with 15 more under construction in Lopez, Quezon; established a preschool; and sent more than 20 young adults to elementary school, high school and college.
Volunteers pledge to collectively donate $10,000 for the trip July 18 through Aug. 12.
Necor, who works two days a week while going to school, still needs to pay the $1,300 for her plane ticket and hopes to raise $2,000 for the trip.
She raised $210 as of April 26 and has 42 days left to raise funds, according to the indiegogo fundraising website.
Supplies needed include: backpacks ($5), spiral notebooks ($5), paper, pencils, flip-flops ($2), rice, noodles, canned goods, bread, ponchos ($4) and rain boots ($14).
The rain boots protect workers' feet from sharp objects as they search for recyclables in dumpsters, according to Necor's website.
People can either donate the items or send money and CFC will purchase them.
Rachelle Narvasa grew up in the Philippines and now lives in Concord. She said she hopes students will glean insight into another culture.
"I want them to grasp the kind of poverty in the Philippines," said Narvasa, parent coordinator for Couples for Christ Youth.
"The first thing we're going to do [upon arrival] is buy tents to give away," Narvasa said.
Necor is on full scholarship at LCAD and is scheduled to graduate in 2015. She works on the website for Laguna Beach's Peter Blake Gallery.
While in the Philippines, Necor and a friend will also conduct interviews and film a 10-minute documentary. She hopes to chronicle the country's current living conditions and showcase the work CFC has done.
Necor's penchant for serving began seven years ago, when she started feeding the homeless with her youth group.
In three months, she will see the community she's helped serve for the first time in person.
"It's exciting for me to see the results of the money we raise," Necor said.
For information about Necor and her upcoming trip, visit http://www.jessicanecor.com.