Captain’s Academy

Captain’s Academy Support Staff

Our Captain’s Academy Support Staff works hard to ensure the success of all first-generation students on campus.


ACM Headshot

Anna Cortes-McCrary, M.Ed.


 Academic Success Coordinator


 Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

 Education: BA from Texas Christian University and M.Ed.     from the University of North Texas 

 About Me: I was the first person in my family to attend   college and graduate school. I remember how lost I felt   trying to navigate university life as a first-generation college   student, and I use that as motivation to assist other first-   generation students in their journeys. With experience   working in TRIO Student Support Services and Academic Advising, I am excited to provide help and hope to the first-generation students at SU! 



Office: Center for Academic Success, PRC 120


 Adrian Badillo

  Sophomore, English & Political Science Double major


 Hi! My name is Adrian and I am a first-generation college student from Taylor, TX. Some things that I am involved in on campus are the SU Wind   Ensemble, Hispanic and Latino Organization, Kappa Sigma, I’m a Peer Academic Mentor, and I was a member of Captain’s Academy last year!


 As a first-gen student, it was hard to feel comfortable at the beginning of   my college experience. It seemed as if everyone else had a better handle on college life and were able to contact their family if they needed help. I, along with other first-gen students, don’t always have that as an option. We usually have to figure things out all on our own. Luckily, Captain’s Academy was here to help us. Not only did we personally meet several staff around campus and learned about the resources they provide, we also made great friends along the way.


A couple of tips I have for first-gen students are to not be afraid to join some clubs, and don’t forget that you’re making history in your family!


 Vanessa Villarreal

  SOPHOMORE, Business major


Hey Y’all! My name is Vanessa and I am from Georgetown, Texas. At Southwestern, I am a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, Captains Academy, and I also work for the Upward Bound office. 


The beginning of my first-year at Southwestern was very difficult for me. Being first generation, I felt very lost and out of place. I did not feel comfortable being myself and felt as if everyone else around me knew what they were doing. I had a difficult time opening up and being true to myself around others in a new environment.


Captain’s Academy has helped me get out of my comfort zone and allowed me to experience new things! I have made many new lifelong friendships and now hold leadership positions across campus, something I never thought I would be interested in!


I encourage you all to try new things and not be afraid to fail. Being first gen is powerful and not something to be ashamed of!