They didn’t believe in him, but look at him now

Javier F. Careaga II or “Javi” has devoted his time and energy to getting  an education for his love of music. In the fall of 2015, he attended the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, transferred to South Texas College in the spring of 2016 and transferred to Texas Wesleyan University in the fall of 2016. Careaga is now graduating with his Bachelors in Arts of Music Performance. “I love the smaller campus, classes, the one-on-one experience with professors, and how easy it is to get around the university,” he said. Javi has received a variety of scholarships, including an annual Blue and Gold Scholarship from Texas Wesleyan, music/major-related scholarships, and a Methodist-affiliated scholarship. Careaga was historian of Kappa Kappa Psi, a music service fraternity at Texas Wesleyan, from Spring 2018 to Spring 2020. He participated in many service projects for the community and music department to help positively impact the community and band. Javi has been involved in Connect College Ministry since around late October or November of 2019 and formally joined in spring of 2020. He is an original member and assisted in making Connect College Ministry an official organization on campus. Javy has also helped provide information and interviews to The Rambler, the university newspaper.

Careaga is proud of two things. One is that he can give a senior recital to show his loved ones and others that he is a professional musician and that even through trials and tribulations he managed to graduate and walk the stage. Lastly, he is proud to show that he is capable. In his freshman year of high school, his counselors recommended not going to college. This was because at the rate he was going, they did not think he would pass. When he first got to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Careaga had an experience with a professor who verbally abused him, and basically kicked him out of the music department saying he was, “stupid, never going to be a musician, and wouldn’t be able to understand the material.” His professor said it was disrespectful to music for him to call himself a musician. Javi stated how it brings him joy and pride to know he has accomplished his goal and proved those who didn’t believe in him wrong.

However, there are many people at Texas Wesleyan who made a difference in Careaga’s life. “I would like to thank Dr. Bierschenk and Dr. Araujo for the time they have committed to help me and for believing in me. Dr. B for having the patience for working with me as a student with disabilities and giving his time as a professor and mentor, and Dr. A for being an educator, mentor and comforting support when I was homesick because she understood the feeling,” said Careaga. “I also thank Mr. Critcher for a fond memory which is also the reason I respect him. I remember my freshman year, the moment came of my exam and my pianist was nowhere to be found, and without one I would have failed. I was sitting on a pew crying and he sat next to me. We had never rehearsed together, but he asked me for my music and a few minutes later he came down asking if I was ready. He played the music I needed and didn’t let me fail. Since then, we have had a strong relationship and I am thankful for what he did for me and that he will be with me at my senior recital.

Performing for Texas Wesleyan and being a part of a professional choir gave Careaga the opportunity to make music and conduct ensembles. He loved to be a part of them and make music. These were the fondest memories he made at Texas Wesleyan University. Javi looks forward to completing his time at Texas Wesleyan as a student by participating in the singing of the Alma mater in the opening of the graduation ceremony. “I am proud to say after I graduate, I will be educating high school students on my love of music, specifically on mariachi and string instruments and teach students things I never knew going into college,” Careaga said.