Education is the heart of ACG. We cherish the experiences and connections we build through our programs and our community. Learn more about ACG Education here. You can support our Education programs here

We are so incredibly grateful for the amazing young people we cross paths with in our Education journey. We have the opportunity to see students blossom into multi-talented, driven, and successful young adults. We even get to come full-circle with a lot of them! 

Rey Rodriguez is one of these inspiring students who came full-circle with our Education Program. Rey began his guitar journey with us at Bedichek Middle School. He continued on through our program at Crockett High School, graduating in 2019. He now attends the University of Texas Butler School of Music with a focus in guitar, and has recently become a teaching artist in some of our education programs, including both Bedichek Middle School and Crockett High School!

We had the exciting opportunity to speak with Rey about his experience and he shared how the program at Bedichek, directed by Phil Swasey, ignited the beginning of his career, 

“Guitar class at Bedichek was my first experience with the guitar. The program helped me understand the importance of guitar and the joy it can bring to myself and others. The comradery that Mr. Swasey helped create in the class made me feel like I had a second family. I still have friends from that class and my best friend who is like a brother to me, sat right next to me in the front row my 8th grade year. Mr. Swasey taught me how to apply myself to the guitar and helped guide me to a stronger work ethic that I used not only for music, but also for my core academic classes in school.”

Rey continued on to share where he is now, 

“I am currently in my third year at the Butler School of Music at UT. I am now the director of guitar at UT string project as well as a teaching artist with ACG! Travis Marcum, Director of Education, reached out to me at the beginning of the 2021 Fall semester and asked if I would like to teach some lessons through ACG. We eventually talked about what schools would work for me and my schedule, and I made my schedule work so I can be at Bedichek Middle School as well as Crockett High School!”

We are so inspired by the spark Rey has shown since he started in our programs. Rey shared,

“This full-circle experience has felt very surreal as well as humbling. I love the opportunities that ACG is helping provide through this program. When I was in middle school I was unable to afford private lessons and we were the first classical guitar program Bedichek ever had, so seeing how far the program has gone and being able to provide lessons for these kids is incredible. The kids I’m currently working with are smart, hard working, inspiring, and overall just great. I am very lucky to call them my students!”

We feel so fortunate to be able to build connections like these and build our family and foundation with ACG Education.

For additional full circle stories, you might enjoy this feature on three of our alumni in the November issue of Tribeza Magazine.