Arizona State University
keynote speaker: reyna montoya
A DACAmented social entrepreneur, educator and dancer, Reyna Montoya is the founder and CEO of Aliento. She 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 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 + 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. To date, Aliento has touched the lives of over 16, 248 people, of which 8,873 are youth. Under dedicated Reyna’s leadership, 687 undocumented, DACA and mixed-status youth have stepped into leadership roles.
Reyna’s contributions to well-being of the undocumented, DACA, and mixed-status community have earned her recognition by Forbes 30 Under 30, the 2019 Phoenix Chamber ATHENA Awards, the Muhammad Ali Center as the 2018 Humanitarian Recipient for Spirituality, 2017 #NBCLatino20, among others.