Photo Credit: Axel Dupeux for the Open Society Foundations

Photo Credit: Axel Dupeux for the Open Society Foundations


Founder & Executive director 

Reyna Montoya is a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow and 2017 Echoing Green Fellow. 

Reyna was born in Tijuana, Mexico and immigrated to Arizona 13 years ago fleeing violence. She is an undocumented/DACAmented community organizer, an educator, and a dancer. She is a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow, which enable her to start Aliento. She also serves in 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. 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. She was also one of the organizers that led the Hunger Strike in 2014 to fight for DAPA/DACA. She hopes to share her talents and skills with the community to co-create healing spaces, political change, and leadership development of our immigrant youth.


Program Collaborator

Ileana was born in Mexico City and immigrated to Phoenix 11 years ago with her family fleeing insecurity. She holds a bachelor degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish Literature from Arizona State University. In 2009 she was racially profiled at a traffic stop, taken to jail, and put into deportation proceedings. Thanks to the community’s support and knowing her rights she was released, and her case was terminated. Her mission in life is to nurture and share her talents, relationships and skills to empower immigrants to become agents of change. It was music the form or art that helped her heal from the traumatic experiences of deportation proceedings. She now enjoys performing at community events to share her and her husband’s music, bringing songs of healing and inspiration.


Creative Director

Diego was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a proud son of Mexican parents. Diego is a graduate from Arizona State University where he studied design, marketing, and business. Diego found one of his passions, photography, when he got involved with the Immigrant Rights Movement in 2011. He has been key to record part of living history of immigrants in Arizona. Diego is the man behind Aliento's logo, branding, and web development. He uses his creativity, talents, and skills to amplify the stories that are happening in immigrant community in Arizona.

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When Korina was only seven her young mother made the brave choice to escape a violent home in Mexico and give her two small daughters a better life in the U.S. As a young girl books and writing captivated her; she often wrote about her immigrant experience. In 2012 after obtaining DACA Korina was introduced to the uplifting world of community organizing, where she felt right at home. In 2014 she co-lead her first campaign, which focused on mobilizing the Latino electorate. She also was an outspoken advocate and organizer in the fight to obtain drivers licenses for DACA recipients in Arizona. In 2015 she was a lead organizer in a successful campaign to pass Instate and keep in-state tuition at state Universities.  After 10 years of overcoming her own education barriers due to immigration status, Korina will finally obtain her bachelor of science in human communications and political science from Arizona State University in May of 2017. Korina is committed to continue advocating for the rights of undocumented youth and families. Her work is driven by the vision that one day the immigrant community will no longer live in fear and will cease to be the target of inhumane politics. One of her personal aspirations is rooted in her passion for writing; she dreams of exposing the stories of other immigrants so that they may be shared with the world.


Operations Manager & Political Strategist

Jose Patiño was born in Mexico, raised in the Valley of the sun, Phoenix, AZ. He migrated at the age of six with this family and is part of the 1% DACAmented people in the U.S. with a master’s degree. He is an educator, and an activist. Jose holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. Jose became involved in the Immigrant Rights and Dreamer Movement in 2009. Ever since then Jose has been standing up against the injustices that undocumented immigrants face. He stopped a bus of undocumented immigrants who were set to be deported, engaged in a direct action where he interrupted President Obama’s speech, and has lobbied for the DREAM Act and Immigration Reform. Due to Jose’s activism he was featured in The Washington Post, MSNBC, NPR, Univision, Telemundo, Buzzfeed, Think Progress, among others. He was also featured in the documentaries The Dream is Now and Underwater Dreams.