The Square Pizza podcast focuses on the intersection of education, innovation, and diversity. We host and interview leaders doing incredible work around the country to ensure all students have access to an equitable education. The Square Pizza podcast is hosted by SchermCo, a social-impact implementation firm that offers strategic implementation and project management services to schools and education-focused organizations across the country.
We are excited to bring you this episode of the #squarepizzapod. This week, Greg is in conversation with Reyna Montoya, Founder, CEO, and Board Member, at Aliento. One fun fact you will learn about Reyna is her love for dance. Find out how dancing at a young age turned into a career at Teach For America.
In this episode:
- Dating advice
- Why the work of Aliento is personal
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
- Community organizing + current campaigns
- Helped get an in-state tuition bill on the ballot for 2022
- How to support the work at Aliento
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 in2003 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 + 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 over 50,000 people, of which over 20,000 are youth through programs and educated 25,000 voters in Arizona 2020 elections. Reyna’s contributions towards the well-being of undocumented and mixed-status community earned her recognition by Forbes 30 Under 30, Phoenix Chamber ATHENA Awards, Humanitarian Recipient for Spirituality by the Muhammad Ali Center, 15 Latinas Changing the World by Univisión, among others.