ViDual Futch Featured in United Way Television Announcement
Four years ago, ViDual Futch provided the soundtrack and announced the boat races at the Heart of Dragon Festival in Macon, GA., where 18 colorful dragon boats competed in a race to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters. That afternoon, Futch wielded the microphone with an ease that yielded as much buzz as the 40-foot-long boats. Although, at the time, the boat race was his largest “gig” ever, he had performed as a DJ at several other events and developed a mentoring program at Hutchings Career Center in Macon. A week prior to the race, he was featured in the Macon Telegraph daily newspaper.
Had he been middle aged, or even twenty, Futch might not have generated so much attention. But he was only in ninth grade. Naturally, people were curious about this precocious young man who started his own entertainment business in his freshman year of high school.
Futch, who is now a Stillman College freshman, credits Big Brothers/Big Sisters for helping him to begin following his dreams so early in life.
“I joined Big Brothers/Big Sisters when I was about twelve. I liked music, so they wanted to find me a mentor who also liked music. The first time my mentor came to our house to meet me, I looked at him and I told my mother, ‘I know him.’ He turned out to be a distant cousin.”
Equally exciting, his mentor, Andre Jones, was a local celebrity—a radio personality best known as “AJ the DJ.” Jones, who owns a mobile music video and lighting entertainment business, began taking Futch on assignments and training him to work in the industry.
“I went with him to weddings, fraternity events, homecomings, sweet sixteens and other parties. I saw Vh1 reality stars Tiny, T.I. and their children at one of the events,” says Futch.
Inspired by his mentor’s example, Futch formed D.J.V.I.P Entertainment. But starting a business didn’t stop him from being ultra involved at his high school, William S. Hutchings Career Center. He served as lead anchor at Hutchings’ TV station, and also served as Student Government Association President, Senior Class President and Regional President for Georgia Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).
“I won the highest level you could win in FBLA, and I was pinned,” says Futch.
Although he is still in the first semester of his freshman year, he has already become active on and off campus. He would like to start a new campus radio station, and he has met with college and community leaders to discuss his plans. He also volunteers his time at Central High School in Tuscaloosa, where he mentors their FBLA chapter.
“I want to help them get to the national competition, and I’m also trying to help them get to national and state offices. Right now I’m helping plan a summit to show their officers how to be effective leaders,” states Futch, who hopes to influence others the way Jones influenced him.
Recently, Stillman students, faculty and staff were surprised to see Futch on a new United Way television announcement posted on Stillman Tuscaloosa Facebook.
“Big Brothers/Big Sisters is funded through the United Way, which is why the United Way wanted me to do a public service announcement,” explains Futch. “They had asked me to speak to the Board of Directors of United Way in Georgia about my experience in Big Brothers/Big Sisters. About two weeks after I spoke, they called to say that they wanted me to do the announcement.”
On the public service announcement, he admits that, when he first joined Big Brothers/Big Sisters about six years ago, he was shy and quiet. Thanks to his mentor, he learned to turn up the volume and pursue his dreams. A Macon Telegraph journalist has predicted that Futch will become “a Very Important Person.” We agree.
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