Where Are They Now? An Update from the Class of 2008

As we continue our alumni series, “Where Are They Now,” travel in time with us as we follow our graduates on their journeys and discover how An Achievable Dream made a positive impact on their lives. Also featured in this series are each graduating class’s sponsor to share their inspiration for supporting their class and a reflection from AAD president and CEO, Dr. Lee Vreeland, on each alumni. In this feature, we are highlighting class of 2008 graduate, Jarius Huffaker.

Tell us where you are, what you’re doing now, and the accomplishment or life milestones you’re most proud of!

I live in Newport News, Virginia, and I am currently a studio musician and band leader. A milestone that I am most proud of is becoming a band leader, and touring different countries in Asia, performing 6 nights a week at five-star venues.

What about An Achievable Dream do you feel most prepared you for the career and life you have now?

I believe that the music program that was provided by AAD with Dave Adams helped to prepare me for my career.

What is next for you?

I want to continue touring, and open up my own studio and music program overseas.

Now, you will read a reflection from our President and CEO, Dr. Lee Vreeland on Jarius’s journey.

Jarius’s family is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Jarius as a child. He is an amazing, polite, and disciplined young man, and he most certainly developed these traits from his family. His mom and brother were always present in his life, they were his constant cheerleaders and most often the source of his strength. In fact, when our jazz band went to Colorado to perform when Jarius was in middle school, his brother Lamont, a musician himself, was a chaperone. Several years ago, Jarius moved to Asia to pursue his passion and gift as a musician. He has thrived as a musician and is simply amazing. He has a true talent that he has nurtured since elementary school. While living in Asia, Jarius unexpectedly lost his brother and soon after lost his mother. In true Jarius style, he was the pillar of strength and continues to live the example that they both set for him. I admire Jarius and know the world is a better place because of him. I can’t wait to see what is next for Jarius; his talent and passion will continue to shine!  He deserves all the world has to offer him and more!

– Lee Vreeland, Ed.D., President/CEO, An Achievable Dream

Continue reading to learn about why the 2008 graduating class sponsor, Ferguson Enterprises chose to invest in the Dream.

An Achievable Dream transforms the lives of young people in our community, believing that success is more than just academics. AAD equips its students with the skills and resources they need to pursue their dreams, determined to overcome life’s obstacles.

At Ferguson, much like our inspiring AAD community partner, we are confident that our success is more than the bottom line. When we listen to those we serve, we build a promising future for everyone. Ferguson remains inspired by how the school instills a profound sense of confidence in each student and enriches their lives with opportunities and educational experiences. We are thrilled to support their program and the young people in our community as they achieve great things.

– Kevin Murphy, CEO Ferguson Enterprises