IT'S not everyday you get the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Sir Bob Geldof.
Coffs Harbour High School Year 12 student Isabelle Capell-Hattam is hoping to do just that at the Euroscience Open Forum in Dublin in July; provided she can raise $7500 to get there.
Isabelle was invited to join the international forum on scientific research and innovation after attending the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra earlier this year.
Only 37 students were selected to represent Australia and Isabelle is one of two students selected from New South Wales to attend the Dublin Forum where Geldof and some of the world's leading scientific minds will gather to speak.
"It was possibly one of the most shocking moments of my life," Isabelle said.
"I had really wanted to get in but hadn't got my hopes up because there were so few spots available. I called a friend who was selected for another programme and we kind of just screamed at each other on the phone for a while."
It only takes a quick look at Isabelle's credentials to see she's the perfect candidate for the Forum: She has topped science every year at Coffs Harbour High; she has received distinctions and high distinctions in the ICAS (UNSW) Science and English competitions and Junior Division of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Chemistry Quiz; she has also attended GERIS science programmes twice.
Drive and intelligence aren't Isabelle's challenge; money is.
Isabelle has begun raising the $7500 needed to help fund the trip which is less than 10 weeks away.
"I've sent letters to people asking for help and so far I have a few sponsors."
Anyone donating to the cause is making a good investment - Isabelle could hold the key to future scientific discoveries.
"I would love to do something valuable with my life; maybe biomedical engineering which is a relatively new field but the potential out there is limitless, we can save so many lives," Isabelle said.
The Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour is helping Isabelle raise the finances for the trip and mentor Rob Anderson is keen to see her realise her dream.
"Just the opportunity to be involved in the big end of science would be amazing," he said.
Mr Anderson has asked for anyone interested in helping Isabelle to contact him on 0438 822 954.