Commentary: My experience at the Democratic National Convention

Editor's note: The author is a sophomore at Newport Harbor High School. She is in Junior Statesmen of America, a nationwide program for teenagers interested in politics. She applied to be part of the group to go to the Democratic National Convention in January.

I attended the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. on Tuesday.

Although it was lightly raining when the Junior Statesmen of America Foundation, or JSA, group and I began to walk to the convention, many people were in the streets singing.

People were yelling, "Fired up!" and "Ready to go!"

Their energy was so passionate I actually got fired up and ready to go!

As I entered the Time Warner Cable Arena, I was overwhelmed by the number of people and members of the press running through the halls like a swarm of busy bees.

Before coming to the convention, our JSA leaders constantly reminded us that "networking is everything." Remembering this, upon entering the arena, my friend Akshaya and I were on a mission: Find our California delegates and try to get credentials.

We went up to almost every delegate we saw, introducing ourselves and asking, "Are you from California?"

After 30 minutes, we felt like we had talked to every delegate but our own. Still we had fun meeting so many people, including three senators.

As our watches crept toward 7:30 p.m., we decided to find our seats and enjoy the convention.

When I saw the entire arena for the first time, I was truly taken aback. The lights were bright, people were passionate and the arena was almost filled, creating a constant buzz of talking that you don't hear on TV.

The floor was separated into sections of bright-eyed delegates who held signs. After each speech the audience went wild with applause and chanted, "Four more years, four more years!"

Many went to the podium and shared stories of their families and of President Obama. I found that these everyday people were truly amazed to speak to the world at the DNC.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro discussed his family's story and what Obama will accomplish. He was very inspiring and every time he mentioned Texas, the state's delegates went crazy.

Finally, about 10:10 p.m., First Lady Michelle Obama, wearing a classy and cute dress, came to the stage with a warm smile. The entire audience jumped up from their seats and began to applaud and cheer, and continued to do so throughout her speech.

It was a true adrenaline rush to watch her speak. She discussed her background, what it was like being the first lady and how her husband would be the best to take the job as president in 2013.

As her speech came to an end, the audience didn't stop clapping. I have never experienced such energy.

Although I haven't settled on my own political views yet, it was truly amazing to see the passion that the people of America have for who becomes the president of the United States.

After leaving the arena, the JSA group began discussing the day's events. This group is intelligent and charming, and cares a lot about politics. Being surrounded by them gave me a deeper appreciation for what politicians do and which bills are passed.

Returning to the bus at 1 a.m., I turned around, looked at the arena once more, and could not wait to return.

SABRINA SANCHEZ lives in Newport Beach.

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