15 Sep 2014
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Teen Explores Athens on Their Own Dime

Teenager Matthew Noon held garage sales and saved money for a year to go on the June 2011 school trip to Greece.

Teen Explores Athens on Their Own Dime

Matthew Noon was determined to make his traveling abroad dreams come true. The $3000 price-tag on a school trip to Greece didn't faze him. He had a plan.

On the calendar at Pinellas Preparatory Academy was a summer trip to Greece for June 2011. 

His parents wanted him to go, but they wouldn't be able to swing the cost. Noon was determined save enough money to take the trip.

The then thirteen-years-old told his parents he'd work and pay for it himself.

Traveling became an interest to him when he heard about his middle school trip to Costa Rica. It would have been quite an adventure for the Largo teen, whose previous travel included family vacations to the Bahamas.  He didn't have enough time to save money for Costa Rica.

He did have a year to save for Greece.

"My dad saw it on the [school] website and asked me if I wanted to go to Greece. I told him 'I'd love to go,'" Noon said.

"I cleaned everything from my room and held garage sales. I advertised on Craigslist. I did any job to earn money, like helping someone out," Noon said.

Between garage sales, he mowed lawns. Customers of his dad's blind company would sometimes donate items for him to sell. He'd add those to his yard sales, unless he ran into someone who needed even more than he did.

"Someone was giving away a couch. It would have sold for $50, but I gave it to a family in need," Noon said.

With each sale, he tucked the money away and promised himself not to spend it. Over time, he saved the total cost of the nine-day trip. He still needed personal spending money.

"I kept thinking, 'How am I going to earn $500 in a week?" Noon recalled.

With less than a week to his departure, Noon received a check for his previous years of DJ work at the school.

"It was a check for exactly $500," Noon said. 

He took most of it for spending money and buying gifts for his family. He kept $100 at home so he'd have money when he returned.

Now attending Newpoint High School, Noon, 14, said the summer trip was worth all the odd jobs and the year of saving.

"It was great. We had so much fun exploring Greece and Athens," Noon said.

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