One Venice High teen got her wish to attend the People's Choice Awards after being diagnosed with cancer last year.

VENICE — There was a slight hum of expectation in the hallway of Venice High School Friday morning, as if the students were waiting for a celebrity to come through the halls.

A wall of cheerleaders formed lines on either side, rustling their green-and-white pom-poms in anticipation.

"She's coming, she's coming," someone whispered and, at that point, it seemed that all noise stopped.

The door opened just slightly to reveal Venice High School senior Sydney Hampton, walking shyly through the hall to the sounds of cheers and the school's drum line. Her face wore an expression of quiet bemusement as she strolled past the celebration with her backpack hung casually on her shoulder. At the end of the hallway she found her brother and mother.

For Hampton, the walk from one end of the hallway to the other was symbolic of more than simply a celebration. It represented what she had been through and where she was going. After all, it has not been the easiest year: Hampton was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that affects the body's connective tissue last December, mere months after her father passed away. She is still in treatment, according to representatives from Make-A-Wish.

But one shining beacon through her diagnosis and subsequent chemotherapy has been her Make-A-Wish request: to attend the E! People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles. As she walked through that hallway, surrounded by her classmates, Hampton was heading toward a limousine that waited to take her to Los Angeles with her mother to attend the awards show.

The idea of the coming experience brought Hampton to tears on Friday.

"Ever since I got cancer, it was like everybody was doing everything for me, so this is like the last thing," she said.

Hampton chose the awards show because she didn't want to simply meet one celebrity. She wanted to "be in the same room" as a whole host of celebrities.

The 18-year-old will spend the weekend in Los Angeles, greeted by the Make-A-Wish team there. Her mother has made one firm date for the Sunday of the awards show: a hair appointment.

The show may be the start of Hampton's future, but she is already thinking bigger to the next frontier for many high school students, college. Hampton has been accepted to several schools, said her mother, Eileen Hampton, but her top choice is University of Tampa. She thinks about practicing law but other days wants to work in entertainment management.

Whatever she chooses, her mantra remains the same: look ahead.

"Just keep looking forward to what you have to do, not looking back," Hampton said.