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High-flying teen

COSTA MESA — Nicolas Jaber is organized.

The Newport Harbor High School junior keeps his schedule on his iPhone and a planner. He keeps a political journal to reflect on current events and jot down theories.

But it’s not warm and fuzzy like a teenage girl’s diary, he is quick to point out.

He also finally broke down and brought a file cabinet up to his room.

“No teenager should have a file cabinet,” he joked.

Nicolas isn’t complaining about the reasons he needs to get more organized. Those same reasons have him flying up to Sacramento and now to Washington, D.C. More international destinations like Canada, Brazil and China — and possibly Egypt — are on his itinerary.

“It’s fun,” he said. “I love that nonstop lifestyle. That’s just kind of who I am.”

Nicolas was recently appointed as the student representative on the board of trustees to Sister Cities International, a nonprofit diplomacy network that helps connect students and residents from around the United States with people in other countries to forge mutual respect and understanding.

“I really believe in the cause, and I think this is a great place to start in educating people on the power of understanding,” he said.

He is also excited that an organization of Sister Cities’ magnitude would give him equal voting rights with the other 23 members.

“It’s just really cool because it shows kind of the direction of the organization, trying to include the next generation,” he said.

The Newport Beach resident is ambitious.

He holds the youth representative seat for the California School Boards Assn.'s legislative committee, where he scrutinizes legislation in Sacramento that could impact education.

He serves as Newport Harbor’s co-student representative to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and as the school’s student body vice president.

He’s also taking seven classes, five of which are AP or IB, but don’t tell Nicolas all of this will look good on college applications.

“I hate it when people say that because that’s the wrong reason to do something,” he said. “If I didn’t feel really, really involved and connected with what I’m doing, I wouldn’t do it.”

While only 16, Nicolas said he has a passion for politics and ideas for how to better the country.

Politically conservative, but socially liberal, Nicolas said he wants to eradicate the sense of entitlement that pervades today’s culture.

He wants a career in public service and eventually aspires to call the White House home.

“I feel like when kids say they want to be president it’s not really for the right reasons,” he said. “I try to steer away from that. I have ideas and I’m willing to listen.”

Nicolas is already doing all the right things if he wants to be president, said school board Trustee Martha Fluor, who is also the president of the California School Boards Assn. and recommended Nicolas for its student representative position.

“I think he has what it takes,” she said. “He’s starting off early, he has that drive and ambition that set him apart.”