This story has been shared from sister station News14.com
RALEIGH, N.C. -- National Democrats are ready to take over the spotlight now that Republicans have wrapped up their convention in Tampa. North Carolina is sending a diverse delegation to Charlotte to represent our state in naming President Obama as the Democrats' choice for president.
One 18-year-old freshmen at UNC-Chapel has more to look forward to than his first semester of college.
"Ii think it is definitely worth it," said delegate Vibhav Kollu. "You know, being one of the youngest delegates in the nation is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity so I think it is definitely worth it.
Kollu is heading to Charlotte to serve as a delegate for the Democratic National Convention. Kollu just graduated from high school last spring. Now he will be a voting member of North Carolina's delegation to nominate a presidential candidate.
"There are so many events going on, that I am hoping to meet as many people as I can and hope to forward the Democratic message and win in November," said Kollu.
Kollu is no newcomer to politics. The founder of the Cabarrus County Teen Democrats and a familiar face at Democratic events, he says he enjoys meeting party faithful around the state.
He will be joining a long time party proponent at the DNC. Charles Johnson, 90, is gearing up to head to his sixth straight convention.
"I first was a 1988 Al Gore delegate and next was in '92," he said. "I have been a delegate or an alternate delegate. I've also been on the rules committee, the credentials committee and also the platform committee.
Johnson may be the oldest member of North Carolina's delegation but he is young at heart. He just retired last fall, a month after his 90th birthday and is still actively involved in boards and civic groups.
He says he is excited to hear from President Obama and leading Democrats as they lay out a plan for the future.
"What they need to do is really concentrate on small business and education," said Johnson. "They are hand in hand.
For first timers like Kollu, he says he's excited to hear stories from folks like Johnson and the nearly 200 other North Carolina representatives heading to the Queen City.
"Many of them have different stories about why they got involved, how they got involved and I think that it is unique that everyone is fighting for something," said Kollu.