Woodrow Wilson High School

Mercy Cer

Students and Families: CLICK HERE to connect with Ms. Cer!

Mercy Cer is very grateful to be able to serve as one of Woodrow Wilson High School’s ASP College advisors. As a Richardson ISD alum, she graduated from the University of North Texas in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and double minors in Human Development & Family Science and Sociology. While working as an advisor, she is currently attending Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas for their Master of Arts in Counseling program.

As a first-generation Chin-American (from the country of Myanmar), she understands how daunting the college experience can be, especially if there is a lack of knowledge and resources. As the oldest of six siblings, she has a very passionate heart about the next generation and the need to level the playing field for students that need it. Ever since she was in middle school, being involved in her church has exposed her to the neglect students like her in the community faced when applying to colleges. She is a firm believer in the full potential of each student and the investment we need to make to ensure their success. In order to do this, she is fully devoted to guiding these students and making college accessible to them and their families.

In her free time, Ms. Cer enjoys watching movies, reading books, serving at her local church as a Sunday school teacher, traveling, and obsessing over soccer/fútbol.

Vanessa Turner

Students and Families: CLICK HERE to connect with Ms. Turner!

Vanessa Turner is ecstatic to be an ASP College Advisor at Woodrow Wilson High School! Vanessa is a Dallas native, born and raised right down the street from Woodrow and is a proud DISD alum. With a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas in Journalism and Anthropology, Ms. Turner is all about accessible higher education and creating a voice for the voiceless.

Ms. Turner loves reading, writing and having incredibly, unnecessarily long movie-watching marathons. She never turns down a good rom-com and is always down to go to the movies. When she’s not at school, she can most definitely be found sitting on her couch watching movies, TV or Youtube videos with her kitten (and best friend), Bunny.

Wyn Pennybacker

Students and Families: CLICK HERE to connect with Ms. Pennybacker!

Wyn Pennybacker is thrilled to serve as Woodrow Wilson High School’s ASP College Advisor. Even as a former completely-overzealous high school student, Wyn stumbled through the college application process. And though she wound up loving her college experience, she is excited to help Woodrow students through the unique stress of application season, and to introduce them to colleges where they will thrive. 

A 2019 graduate of Hamilton College, Wyn prioritizes connecting students with higher education experiences that will allow them to deeply explore their identities and interests with capable mentorship. Prior to moving back to her home-city of Dallas to work with ASP, Wyn was fortunate to have mentored peers and students in a variety of locations and contexts, from leading college debate practice at Hamilton, to teaching eleventh grade writing in East Dallas and English Language in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine. Without her professors and academic advisors at Hamilton, Wyn would not have been able to have the experiences she did, and she looks forward to bringing everything she’s learned about mentorship, teaching, and learning to her own students. (Also, she actually loves to read personal statements.)

Currently, Wyn occupies a shoebox in Lakewood, and spends most of her free time listening to audiobooks, drinking too-expensive coffee, and preventing her cats from destroying the shoebox.

Tanya Barbosa

Students and Families: CLICK HERE to connect with Ms. Barbosa!

Tanya Barbosa is excited to be part of the team of advisors with ASP Dallas at Woodrow Wilson High School. Tanya grew up in the North Dallas region and was product of the Richardson ISD district. 

Tanya is a first-generation student who attended Texas A&M University (WHOOP!) where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. After graduation, Mrs. Barbosa worked with students as a High School Site Coordinator with Communities in Schools in Plano ISD. She provided support towards students with low socioeconomic backgrounds and then joined Teach For America as an elementary teacher at Richardson ISD. Tanya’s mission in making education accessible for first-generation students, allowed her to continue her pursuit in becoming a college advisor with ASP Dallas. She is aware of the challenges students can face when applying for college as a first-generation student and is excited to provide support and understanding during a pivotal moment of high school students’ journey. 

When Tanya isn’t working, she enjoys nature walks with her puppies, hikes, trying new places, and spending time with family and friends.