CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Arkansas delegates to the Democratic National Convention didn’t need big-name politicos to get fired up Thursday. They had their own stories to tell.

Emily Kearns, a volunteer intern with the Democratic Party of Arkansas, had stood quietly on the sidelines until party chairman Will Bond called her forward Thursday to speak.

The shortest speech at the delegate breakfast drew one of the loudest cheers.

Kearns, a 29-year-old political science major at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, told the delegates that her great-grandmother opened her eyes to politics when she took her into the voting booth in Walnut Cove, a small town about two hours northeast of Charlotte.

"My big momma, born in 1910 and nearly blind, took me at age 12 into the ballot box. She told me "All you’ve got to do is punch ‘D’ for Democrat," Kearns said, pausing as the Arkansas delegates stood up and cheered, then continuing when they quieted down: "Everything else will be alright. And, that’s what I’ve been doing ever since."