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Dennis and Deborah Conta Tenor Scholarship Fund

As one of the driving influencers behind the creation of Tenor High School in 2005, Dennis Conta has been a beacon, a collaborator, and most of all a great friend to the entire Tenor High School community. Continuing with his deep commitment to the advancement of equitable education opportunities to Milwaukee students, Dennis and Deborah Conta have created the Dennis and Deborah Conta Tenor Scholarship Fund. The fund, established in 2020, provides financial support for students continuing their education at MATC in pursuit of an Associate’s Degree. Students receiving these funds are selected based on financial need and academic merit. Funds may be used for any educational expenses. 

We are grateful for the visionary leadership the Contas continue to provide.

About Dennis and Deborah Conta

Dennis and Deborah ContaDennis Conta is president of Conta and Associates, a public policy-making firm. His work in the public sector includes eight years as a State Representative in the Wisconsin Legislature, representing the east side of Milwaukee as well as serving as a member of Governor Lucey and Governor Schrieber's cabinet, as Secretary of Revenue. Dennis and Marcia Spector Co-founded Tenor High School in 2005.

Deborah Gardner Conta maintained a consulting practice for 20 years in the field of sentencing advocacy.  She has also worked as a hospice administrator, therapist, editor and freelance writer, and independent bookstore owner.  Deborah is grateful she graduated from college, obtained a graduate degree and completed post-graduate therapy training without incurring any student debt; she is pleased the Conta Scholarship Fund may help reduce the debt that qualifying Tenor students incur in the pursuit of their own educational goals.   


Class of 2023 Awardees

Madaley Gomez-Ibarra
Madeley Gomez-Ibarra

Madeley Gomez-Ibarra, a Tenor Journal Square senior, began taking MATC classes as a dual enrollment student with College Algebra and Trigonometry in 11th grade. By the start of her senior year, she had set her sights on MATC’s Surgical Technician Associate Degree. Focusing on general education classes required to petition into her technical program, Madeley showed that she has the skills and determination to be successful in a healthcare career. As she mastered classes like Medical Terminology and General Anatomy and Physiology, Madeley strengthened her study skills, learned that the best students in college use academic support resources and grew in confidence. Her Tenor High School Project Lead the Way teacher observed that Madeley has “a very high aptitude for Math and Science and a great work ethic...She is also very kind and empathetic.” Madeley Gomez-Ibarra is enthusiastic about what she’s learning at MATC and is exactly the type of person we need in healthcare occupations. Madeley appreciates that the Dennis and Deborah Conta MATC Scholarship will allow her to focus more on her classes and less on working at a job next year.

Enyt Trinidad
Enyt Trinidad

Tenor Journal Square senior Enyt Trinidad started her senior year with an interest in healthcare occupations and learned important skills for college success at MATC. She observed that college classes were a big change from high school where teachers support students every step of the way. At MATC, Enyt developed strategies to structure her own time, to stay focused, and to study like a college student. She also took responsibility for seeking assistance when she needed it. Developing a study schedule and visiting MATC’s Anatomy lab helped her do well in challenging classes like General Anatomy and Physiology. Enyt is the oldest among her siblings and balances education with helping her mother care for their family. She is acutely aware of the cost and the value of college education and is thankful for the opportunity the Dennis and Deborah Conta MATC Scholarship provides. Enyt will pursue MATC’s Associate Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. She’s on track to complete the required general education classes and petition into her surgical tech classes by February 2024. Enyt’s goals include inspiring her younger brother to go to and through college, helping her family have a better life and using her education to support mothers and their babies.

Elijah Young
Evelyn Martinez

Tenor Journal Square senior Elijah Young has been an exemplary student since he first stepped into classes at Tenor High School. Science teacher Joshua Borts taught Elijah in grades 10 and 11 and shared observations about his talents, his strengths and his growth. In Tenor classes Elijah mastered challenging concepts with ease, then did the work on assignments to earn A’s every time. He demonstrated outstanding communication skills in the classroom, during virtual instruction and when collaborating or providing assistance to his peers. A quiet student when he first came to Tenor, Elijah’s teacher described his greatest growth in the area leadership. He became a student whose input in class discussions “drove the conversation into something deeper”. He helped his peers understand difficult material by breaking it into manageable pieces, and became an effective group leader by organizing and using the strengths of each member to accomplish the goals of the group. Elijah will pursue the Associate of Science degree at MATC, a program made for students to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. Already working with a transfer advisor, Elijah will take MATC classes that transfer seamlessly to UW-Milwaukee’s Bachelor of Arts in Actuarial Science. He is the valedictorian of Tenor, Journal Square’s class of 2023.

Jonathan Canola
Jonathan Canola

Tenor Cathedral Square senior Jonathan Canola began his senior year at MATC with the goal of working towards an Associate’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. His first semester he took a few introductory classes which allowed him to learn more about the pathway as well as job outlook. As the semester progressed, Jonathan began to inquire and learn more about the type of work his father does and decided that he wanted to make a career change.  Jonathan continued in the Electrical Engineering program for the remainder of the semester and successfully completed his courses. Jonathan is the third oldest of nine children and the oldest male which has given him the first opportunity to work with his father in the area of construction with an emphasis on electrical work.  Jonathan has plans to return to MATC this Fall and enter into the Electrical Program. Jonathan reflected on his year at MATC and noted that he appreciates the opportunity to get a head start on his college career. He also appreciates the benefit of receiving the assistance from the Conta Scholarship. Jonathan says, “This scholarship will help me begin to make a better life for myself.”

Mariam Jasmin
Mariam Jasmin
Mariam, a Tenor Cathedral Square senior, comes from humble beginnings. She is the youngest of three children raised by a single mother who left her home country of Iraq to come to America seeking a better life for her children and herself. Seeing her mom make sacrifices and work hard is what drives Mariam.  Last fall, Mariam entered MATC with a mission and that was to earn a Technical Diploma in the field of Phlebotomy. Mariam had a successful fall semester finishing with a 3.972 GPA, she continued to work hard in the spring and completed all of her classes in the program and ended with a 4.00 GPA. This summer she will return to MATC to finish up her Phlebotomy Clinical course after which she will receive her Technical Diploma in the field. Mariam has also obtained the Healthcare Customer Service Certificate from MATC. This fall, Mariam plans to return to MATC and begin working on her Associate’s Degree in Anesthesia Technology. The Conta scholarship will fill a great financial need for Mariam. She has watched her mom struggle to take care of her family and home and Mariam doesn’t want her mom to worry about helping her pay for college.
Andrew Calderon
Andrew Calderon
When Andrew first began talking about careers, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after high school. We spent time talking about careers and future goals, yet he remained unsure. When it was time to choose a Pathway at MATC, he decided to go with what he felt was familiar: Electrical Engineering. Andrew chose this pathway because it is what his brother was currently working on and it seemed interesting to him.  As Andrew began his fall semester, he started his classes and began to feel this wasn’t the pathway for him. After several conversations and talks about what he wanted to do, he still wasn’t sure. He continued to work hard and ended the semester with a 3.400 GPA. As we prepared for the second semester he decided to make a change to the Business/Entrepreneurship Pathways. These pathways interested him because he had begun to tap into the Entrepreneurship arena. Andrew finished the Spring semester with a 4.00 GPA and has plans to return to MATC this fall and return to his original plan which is an Associate’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. Andrew stated, “I am grateful for the opportunity to apply for the Conta Scholarship. My family and I are in a better place however, paying for college expenses has been a concern.”  Andrew is excited to return to MATC knowing the proceeds from the scholarship will be there to help with expenses.
I want to add funds to the Dennis and Deborah Conta Scholarship Fund and help a graduating Tenor student get an Associate’s Degree!
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