GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Two North Carolina A&T State University students had the experience of a lifetime at the 94th Academy Awards.
Mister and Miss N.C. A&T, Joshua Suiter and Zaria Woodford, stood side-by-side with Hollywood’s biggest celebrities during the ceremony Sunday.
“It was really crazy, a dream come true, honestly,” Suiter said.
Suiter and Woodford couldn’t believe the call and invitation from Academy Awards Producer Will Packer. He wanted Historically Black College and University representation on stage.
After some checking, the pair gladly agreed to be trophy presenters, packed their bags, and boarded an airplane to Hollywood.
“My life is genuinely changed forever from this experience, at 21, as an actor, who hasn’t even graduated yet to already be at the Oscars,” Suiter said.
They presented several trophies and guided celebrities off stage the entire evening.
“It was really intimate, and it was very genuine, I felt like I was at a party with a bunch of really famous people,” Woodford said.
Woodford saw celebrities pack the Dolby Theatre like Denzel Washington, Beyonce, and Samuel L. Jackson.
“Being in that type of working environment, it made me really realize that all of these people we idolize and look up to are just human,” she said.
The pair spent a week in Hollywood preparing for the big night.
“Celebrities, staff, crew, stand-ins, seat fillers, I mean everybody mattered, it was great to be able to discuss and talk with everybody,” Suiter said.
They learned the do’s and don’ts during the ceremony, the best way to dress for the camera, and explored the theatre.
“Every single person was willing and excited to be working together, they were very patient with one another, everything was working like a well-oiled machine,” Woodford said.
Another N.C. A&T Aggie Marcus Ferby, who graduated last year, was in the room too.
“I worked hard to get to that space, a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of studying,” Ferby said.
Ferby worked in the production booth and helped create the T.V. magic.
“Some people dream of being on islands, I’m dreaming on these big stages, of my hard work paying off, of my family being able to be proud and my hometown being proud,” Ferby added.
The Aggies at the Academy Awards hope their experience will inspire others.
“Nothing’s impossible, if that’s what you believe in, have the faith and go for it.” Suiter concluded.