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REYNA MONTOYA

Reyna Montoya is the founder and CEO of Aliento. She is a social entrepreneur, educator and dancer. Reyna is a DACA recipient and is an alumna of Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.  

Reyna was born in Tijuana, Mexico, 15 minutes from the U.S. and Mexico border, and migrated to Arizona in 2003, fleeing violence. Despite the fear, anxiety, and stress of growing up undocumented in Arizona and witnessing her dad go through deportation proceedings, Reyna did not lose hope. That is why she took a leap of faith and decided to create Aliento in 2016 after years of organizing and educating both at the local and national levels.  

Through youth-led arts plus 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. In less than five years, Aliento has touched the lives of more than 50,000 people, including more than 20,000 are youth, through programs and educated 25,000 voters in Arizona 2020 elections. 

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.   

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