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Tina Manzo Owen, Arts ’98

 

Tina Manzo Owen

Being a teenager is difficult enough. Being a teenager who is harassed for appearance, ability, sexuality or beliefs is an entirely different story. Tina Owen recognized that fact and wanted to help those hurt by prejudice.

As the co-founder and a teacher for The Alliance School of Milwaukee, Tina does exactly that. The Milwaukee Public School charter school opened in 2005 and serves as a haven for students who were harassed in regular school environments.

Before helping to establish The Alliance School, Tina taught for seven years at Milwaukee’s Washington High School, where she served in several leadership roles as a faculty member and student adviser. She was recognized in Teen Ink magazine as an outstanding educator and recently was highlighted in Milwaukee Magazine for her work in the community.

“I believe that when you do good things, success happens. You don’t have to go searching for it,” she says, “just be motivated toward causes and issues that help make the world a better place, and success is the natural result.”

Tina won an Equality Award from the Milwaukee Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Community Center for her work in advocating for equal rights for LGBT youth, and The Point Foundation named her one of its 28 Point Scholars in 2007. The foundation provides financial support and mentoring to students who have been marginalized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“I am one of those people who can’t help but get involved when I feel passionate about something,” she says.

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