2018 EHT High Graduate Served as Presenter At Academy Awards
If you thought you recognized one of the presenters at Sunday's Oscars as a South Jersey local, you were correct.
Zaria Woodford, a 2018 graduate of Egg Harbor Township High School served as an award presenter for the 94th Academy Awards.
She is now a senior studying pre-law at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she holds the title of Miss North Carolina A&T.
Woodford ran for Miss North Carolina A&T and was elected by the student body in 2021.
Will Packer, the producer of this year’s Oscars and a graduate of Florida A&M University, wanted to highlight historically Black colleges and universities at the show. This is the first time an HBCU was represented at the Oscars.
Packer’s production company selected Mister and Miss N.C. A&T to be the very first HBCU king Joshua Suiter and South Jersey's Woodford as queen to be featured.
The pair took the grand stage Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The invitation and opportunity mark the first for any historically Black college or university student.
"Participating in the 2022 Academy Awards is affording me the opportunity to do all three on a scale larger than I could have ever imagined,” Woodford said. “I am blessed to be participating in the occasion and intend to make my university, community and the hard-working individuals of the Oscars proud in this role.”
Woodford spent the past week rehearsing, recording and engaging in tours and interviews, getting the full Oscars experience.
Zaria's mom, Sonsere Woodford, back at home in Egg Harbor Township, told the Press of Atlantic City her daughter was very excited about the opportunity.