BOCA RATON (CBS4) – President Barack Obama’s inauguration is a week away and some South Floridians are making the journey to witness the historic moment.
In the nation’s capital, the ceremony preparations are under way. Among them, the all-important dress rehearsal complete with stand-ins for the President and the First Lady.
“I think I look more like Obama than this guy,” Eric Gooden told CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana when he looked at a photo of the inauguration stand-in.
It’s a role Gooden knows well.
The Lynn University student served as President Obama’s stand-in ahead of the debate at the college campus in Boca Raton last October.
“I came out from backstage,” Gooden said. “All the lights were on me, the cameras, it was just unreal, you know. Not many students can do that.”
Gooden now has another chance to be part of history. He’s traveling to Washington, D.C. to attend the inauguration ceremony along with 14 of his Lynn classmates.
“We’re actually going to have a tour of the White House. We’re going to attend all the memorials,” Gooden said about the eight day journey.
Juan Dawson is also making the trip. Dawson is the president of Lynn’s College Democrats.
“I’m very excited about it. It’s definitely an experience,” Dawson said. “It’s something that not a lot of people, let alone students, get to do.”
The trip is about more than just witnessing history. It also counts toward their college credits and there’s a final assignment due upon their arrival from D.C.
“At the end we have to write a memo to the President and we have to write about the things we want to see him change in the next four years,” Dawson explained.
On Sunday, Gooden was still working on what his memo might say. He said he’s sure he’ll get a few ideas very soon.
“Well be pretty busy,” Gooden said. “It’s fun and serious at the same time.”
The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for Monday, January 21st.