SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) --Our Cool Kid for Thursday, June 16 is Noah Cortez, 17, of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. He's one of only eight students chosen for a U.S.-Indonesia cultural-exchange program.
The Indonesia-U.S. Youth Leadership Program is a four-week course sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. It chooses eight students to live abroad to help increase mutual understanding among people from both countries in a cross-cultural exchange.
Noah is an active student at Mater Dei, with good grades and extracurricular activities that include varsity track and choir.
For Noah, being chosen to participate in the program is particularly exciting because he was turned down the first time he applied.
"It's an honor to be chosen to be representing the United States as a whole," Noah said. "When I found out I was so excited, because initially I actually got rejected."
His acceptance this time served as a lesson in not giving up.