Founder of Aliento
2017 Global Fellow
Aliento invests in the leadership and the well being of undocumented youth and children impacted by detention, deportation, and unjust immigrant laws. Aliento has a holistic approach rooted in resilience and leadership. Aliento provides an art and organizing program for youth and children to build their leadership and uplift their voices. Through popular education and leadership development trainings Aliento creates a safe space where youth and children are trained to become agents of change in their communities. Aliento is reshaping the image of who immigrants are and shining light to the unheard voices of our society.
Reyna Montoya is the founder and executive director of Aliento, an organization inspired by her lived experience of having her dad detained and being undocumented in the U.S. Prior to founding Aliento she engaged in local, statewide, and national platforms to advance justice for undocumented immigrants. In 2013, she led a team who stopped an immigration bus and prevented the deportations of undocumented immigrants for the first time in history. In the same year she stopped her father’s deportation. She danced professionally and taught high school. Reyna’s experiences led her to create spaces that honor youth and children’s resiliency and leadership. She holds a BA in Political Science, a BA in Transborder Studies, and a dance minor from Arizona State University. She has a M.Ed in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. She is a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow and sits in the first Teach for America National DACA Advisory Board. She shares her talents and skills with the community to co-create healing spaces, political change, and leadership development of our children and immigrant youth.