An Albuquerque teenager is getting in some last minute practice as she prepares to represent New Mexico and the country at the Junior World Championships for Taekwondo.
However, she first must figure out a way to get there to pay for her trip. The family needs to dish out $7,000 for a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Mason Porch, 15-years-old, fought back from a 12-3 deficit at Team Trials just a few weeks ago.
With that kick, she secured herself a spot on the U.S. Junior National team.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to make a national team,” said Porch.
Her dad still remembers the moment when his daughter became one of the best.
“I couldn’t even watch. I had to walk out of the room and all I could hear were the commentators going on about making a comeback,” said Thad Porch.
Porch had accomplished a dream that she never thought was possible when she started Taekwondo four years ago.
“I never really considered like “Oh, I can make a national team.’ I was like ‘I love kicking people in the face. It’s really fun,'” said Porch.
Since that day, Porch has been putting in hours of training daily. She jumping between working out in her garage, to Blackman Taekwondo, Athlete Ready, even flying to Dallas at least twice a month to train with her coach.
While Porch puts in work at the gym, her parents are taking on extra clients and work longer hours.
“It’s a big sacrifice for all of us,” said Porch.
“There’s only so many evenings and weekends you can work. It gets very tiring,” said Thad.
They are doing all of this in order to send their daughter to the 2018 Taekwondo Junior World Championships in Tunisia, Africa.
It is an accomplishment that only ten other girls in the country can say they have done.
However, it is a trip of a lifetime that is costing the family thousands of dollars just to send Porch.
“You are the next generation of Olympians so they want you to go but you have to fund your own way. There’s only so much money to go around. They give it to the people who might go to the Olympics,” said Thad.
Now, the family is pleading for help from the community.
They only have three more weeks to raise money from their GoFundMe page.
“If you want to see New Mexico’s next star athlete make it on the world stage, fund Mason Porch, it would really help,” said Thad.
Porch is ranked second in the country in the junior heavyweight division and 17th in the world.
Porch will leave for Africa on April 5 and come back on April 15, hopefully with a gold medal hanging around her neck.