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Year: Junior

Major: B.A. in Music

Hometown: El Paso, Texas

Q: What led you to SAGU? 

Throughout my high school career my former youth pastors really encouraged me to go to SAGU. They were aware that I didn’t have the best influences at the time and thought that SAGU would be the positive environment that I needed in order to grow. I served on the youth worship team, as well as the kids ministry but I never fully put myself out there when it came to school. As the time came closer to make a decision the more I became hesitant about going to college. But I decided to try it out for one semester and to see whether or not I was really called to this school. I was. 

Q: What have you been involved in on campus? 

Since the beginning of my SAGU journey, I have been involved in different things within the same area. These things are the SAGU Jazz Band, Concert Band, and Drumline. I have also been involved with SAGU Worship for my first three semesters. I had the privilege to be one of the first members to start up the SAGU Drumline again. I have loved getting to see how passionate students are and how well our music directors get involved to make sure we improve. Being involved in different kinds of organizations pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow into the best present version of myself as a musician. 

Q: What aspects of campus life have you enjoyed the most? 

 The thing that really brought me to enjoy SAGU the most was the community. Coming to SAGU I had no idea if I was going to be able to fit in. I wasn’t the ideal Christian and I did not know if that was going to be an issue with future relationships. Turns out I was wrong. I met some of the most genuine people in my life. I became surrounded by people who did not judge but rather supported, prayed for, and loved me. Everyday life I’m surrounded by this loving community and it makes campus life so enjoyable. 

Q: How has your experience been with the Music Department?

To not sugar coat it, being a student in the Music Department can be hard. I have had the privelege of working and learning from very talented professors and peers and it continuously challenges me to work harder. Our professors as well as peers do not hesitate to give you constructive criticism. While this challenged my confidence as a musician at first, it has ultimately made me more confident in my abilities more than ever before. I know that I can expect honest feedback and actually grow as a musician here.

Q: Have you had any professors who have positively influenced you during your time here? 

During my time at SAGU, one specific professor has stood out to me the most. That is Dr. Lee-Hing. She is my piano professor and is the most loving and understanding woman of God. She has impacted my life by listening and guiding me through my obstacles and challenges. Not only that but she can push you beyond your comfort place. In my private piano lessons, she teaches in an understanding way and she is able to see more potential than what I can see, and she makes sure I reach my musical capabilities. The way she teaches makes you feel the pressure but also makes you feel good about yourself because you are expanding your skills, technique, and overall knowledge. 

Q: What drew you to music? What professional aspirations and goals do you have for the future? 

Since I can remember I would express the way I feel through music. Growing up I wasn’t taught how to say what I felt. Instead, I expressed my emotions through music. I began with piano and worked my way into percussion. The High School band was an outlet for me. Every morning at 6am till 9pm, band was my escape. It made one of the most difficult times of my life feel like one of the greatest times of my life. It’s because of this that I realized I wanted to do the same for future generations; and what better way than by becoming a band director. SAGU has helped me develop the skills I need to naturally incorporate ministry into the workplace. By learning how to live for Christ I can live as an example to the students I encounter in the future, and when they ask how my life is different I can point them to the source – Jesus. 

Q: How do you feel that your time at SAGU is preparing you for life after college? 

SAGU provided an environment that cultivated my spiritual walk and gave me a place to minister to others, grow spiritually myself, and gave me access to mentors who set me up for success in my walk with God. Not only has it prepared me for my career, but it has also prepared me for real life scenarios. I can’t imagine navigating my initial entrance into adulthood in any other environment. I never would have admitted it before, but I needed the structure that SAGU ultimately provided for me.

Q: How has your faith impacted the way you view your education and in the personal goals you set for yourself? 

When life becomes difficult and it seems like there is no way out. I have my faith to uplift me.I get reminded that he’s got me, he knows the path that I’m going through and going to take and that I’m living my life for Christ.

Q: What advice would you give to incoming freshmen? 

If you’re anything like me, and you aren’t coming to SAGU from a healthy home, it can be difficult to enter into an environment where it feels like everyone around you grew up knowing everything about God. Initially I felt lost. I felt like I didn’t belong because everyone else’s background was so different from mine. Or so I assumed. I ended up going to counseling because I just didn’t know what else to do. It was one of the best decisions I made because it not only helped me to heal from my past, but it helped me to become more open to those around me. By becoming more open with my peers I learned that there actually were others here that were like me. Even better, the ones that weren’t like me weren’t judging me. They were actually interested in knowing me for who I was and loved me regardless of where I came from or what I had done.

So, in short, I guess my advice is go to counseling and don’t be afraid to open up with those around you.

Ashley  is receiving the training and support they need to step into her God-given calling in Music. At SAGU, we believe that God has a specific calling for each and every one of us. Through our learning community, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and real-world experience to foster your talents and pursue your purpose, just like Ashley ! Click here to apply today!

As a leading Christian university, SAGU educates and prepares individuals who want to serve Christ and others. SAGU helps students discover and develop their callings in a Spirit-empowered, learning community.

We believe in affordable tuition, made possible in part through the financial support of donors who embrace the mission of SAGU and the importance of affordable, accredited programs to train Christians for leadership in ministry, business, education, and service.

Most majors are available in-person in Waxahachie, TX, and online through a wide range of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

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