Hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar was a big winner at this year's Grammy Awards but students from his alma mater, Centennial High School, also won big when they joined him for the music industry's biggest night at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
In partnership with Reebok, the rapper treated the students, accompanied by Principal Shauna Harris, to a VIP experience that included a limo ride, new clothes and all-white Rebook classic shoes.
They also walked the red carpet alongside the Apache-turned-music superstar.
"The students were selected because we felt would represent the school well and also because we expect them to be in leadership roles, so we wanted to use this opportunity to bridge that into bigger and better things for them," explained Principal Shauna Harris.
Aspiring rapper, ninth-grader Elias Umanzor, said he'll never forget having the opportunity to spend time with one of his biggest musical influences.
"What he did was really nice of him. It takes a humble person to do what he did," he noted.
Elias said Kendrick's music touches on real-life issues that many rappers don't address.
"He could've succumbed to the gang life around him. Instead of being drawn into it, he chose something greater. That's his main message," he said. "Most artists when they blow up, they forget where they come from. People like Kendrick really put their city and school on the map."
For twin sisters Renita and Renetta Brasko, the experience was nothing short of amazing.
"It really blew my mind to be there with all these famous people on the red carpet," said Renita. "I'm really thankful we got to be there. We never thought we'd ever be at the Grammys."
Renita, who dreams of becoming a professional singer, said she received sage advice from fellow Apache Kendrick Lamar.
"He said not to move too fast...that you start from the bottom and keep going. That's what it takes to be successful," she noted.
Renetta, an aspiring businesswoman, said she is grateful for her trip to the Grammys and that she finds Kendrick's path to success inspiring.
"Now I look up to him. He wanted didn't want to stop. He kept on going so he could reach where he's at right now...at the top," she said.