Reyna Montaya, MEd

Founder & CEO, Aliento

About Me

Reyna was born in Tijuana, Mexico and migrated to Arizona in 2003 fleeing violence. She is an undocumented/DACAmented social entrepreneur, educator, community organizer, and dancer. She is also a founding member of the first Teach For America DACA Advisory Board.

Reyna holds bachelor degrees in Political Science and Transborder Studies and a Dance minor from Arizona State University; she also holds a M.Ed in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University, and an Executive Education from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has engaged in local, statewide and national platforms to advance justice for immigrant communities. In 2013, she was the lead organizer, who prevented an immigration bus of undocumented immigrants from deportation in Phoenix, AZ for the first time in the nation’s history. In the same year, with the help of the community, she stopped her father’s deportation.

Through youth-led arts + healing workshops, leadership development and community organizing, Aliento transforms trauma into hope and action for those most impacted by the harms associated with lacking an immigration status. Under Reyna’s leadership, Aliento touched the lives of over 50,000 people, of which over 20,000 are youth through programs, educated 25,000 voters in Arizona 2020 elections, over 60,000 voters in the 2022 elections, and strategically organized a non-partisan coalition that empowered the Arizona State Legislature to refer Prop. 308 to the ballot. In 2022, Prop. 308 enabled Arizona Dreamers to pay in-state tuition reaching education equity for all students after almost 16 years of a systemic barrier for undocumented youth.

Reyna's contributions to well-being of the undocumented, DACA, and mixed-status community have earned her recognition by the Muhammad Ali Center as the 2018 Humanitarian Recipient for Spirituality, 2017 #NBCLatino20, Fast Company among others. She is also a New Profit and Boulder Fund Award Recipient. She hopes to share her talents and skills with the community to co-create healing spaces, political change, and leadership development for our immigrant youth and undocumented and mixed status families.


The Arizona Biltmore & online!

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