About Us

How Stronger builds strong foundations for education organizations and advances opportunities for young people of color.

Stronger Consulting is a mission-driven education consulting firm founded in 2016 by founder and CEO Mike Montoya, a 26-year education sector veteran with extensive experience working across K-12 school systems and with numerous youth-serving nonprofit organizations.

Stronger Consulting is a mission-driven, for-profit education consulting firm. We believe all kids deserve the opportunity to pursue their own version of happiness and prosperity. We partner with K-16 school systems and education non-profit organizations to design and achieve remarkable educational experiences for young people. We are a LatinX-owned company and serve a national client base, specializing in building diverse talent pipelines to build extraordinary teams and supporting organizations working to ensure equitable opportunities for traditionally underserved children and families.

Making a Difference

Mentoring and Coaching Great Leaders

Stronger Consulting partners with you to solve your toughest challenges from discrete projects to ongoing engagements focused on ensuring exceptional results for children and educators. We approach our work based on three key values: integrity, transparency, and customization. By leveraging data and asking the right questions, we produce quality insights to help you, our partner-clients achieve their goals.

We lead with our core values of optimism and empathy: optimism for bringing about a more positive reality for children today and in the future, and empathy for our clients who are working to make this vision a reality.

Advancing Opportunities for Young People of Color

We believe all kids deserve the opportunity to pursue their own version of happiness and prosperity. Stronger Consulting partners with organizations to design and achieve remarkable educational experiences for young people.

Stronger Consulting was specifically founded with a mission to advance opportunities for young people of color and prides itself on its placement of leaders of color with organizations that have taken a stance that all children deserve the opportunity to receive a high-quality education in a safe and supportive environment. Furthermore, we are working to support leaders and organizations with missions that align with ours and who are innovative, passionate, and working with a sense of urgency to create a positive reality today and in the near future. Our impact on the world is through the leaders and the organizations that we partner with.

Building Strong Foundations for Education Organizations

We work to ensure our clients have the right individuals leading the right kind of work that produces strong outcomes for the children that they serve.

We focus on the fundamentals and the essentials.

  • Solid, predictable revenue that supports the important work for and with children.
  • Highly effective and caring leaders.
  • Reliable and efficient operating, human capital, and financial systems.
  • Programs that are clear and focused and effective at creating high-quality opportunities for kids.
  • Use of data and results to drive decision and direction.
  • Intentional planning and assessment to ensure strategic priorities are achieved.

Supporting Students through Caring Adults

We want children to have opportunities to grow-up in healthy and supportive cities, communities and schools. We believe that a relationship with one caring adult, outside of a child’s immediate family, is a protective factor and is a key to developing resilience. We know that when children have access to safe and supportive environments that appropriately stretch them, they grow into healthy young adults. We want to ensure that these environments are abundantly available to all kids.

Our History

2016

  • Founded project based consulting practice in San Diego, CA.

2017

  • Launched our Executive Recruiting practice.

2018

  • Expanded our consulting work to include additional expert consultants.

2019

  • Hired our first full time team member.
  • Began scaling our executive recruiting practice.

2020

  • Hired our second and third full-time team members and expanded our scope of services and clients for the 4th year in a row. 

2021

  • Expanded our team to include multiple additional full-time and part-time staff members and expert consultants to deliver more high-quality work for our client partners. 

Mike grew up deeply involved in school, sports, and youth-serving organizations where he spent a great deal of time learning and growing in highly supportive and caring environments. He was one of only a handful of Mexican-American kids in his school system and grew up in a place and time where his parents actively discouraged his bi-cultural development. The path out of working-class life was assimilation, education, and opportunities. Many of the adults and teachers he engaged with worked hard to provide opportunities and mentorship that are not widely available to all kids.

Mike was fortunate to leverage federal aid and private scholarships and attended a highly rated liberal arts college and later a top-tier research institution for graduate school. As Mike has grown in his professional life, he has always remained focused on having a strong impact – largely by working to bring extraordinary adults into leadership positions where they can focus their skills and gifts in ways that expand developmental and educational opportunities for children who have less access to pathways toward a prosperous and satisfying life.

The firm’s name “Stronger” showed up during our founding year and the run-up to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Sao Palo, Brazil. Mike went to college in Colorado Springs and spent several years as a human performance research associate at the Olympic training center, so he’s always been a big fan of the Games. The Olympic motto – Stronger, Faster, Higher – is aspirational and signals to us that there is more to achieve through commitment, dedication, drive, technology, training, focus, self-awareness, empathy, and optimism.

Mike’s journey to uncover and recover parts of his personal identity is ongoing. He has benefited from significant investment from professional mentors, coaches, and leadership fellowships. He has re-engaged with some aspects of his hidden heritage and found ways to deeply invest in the growth and development of other young men, women, and team members as emerging professionals. Mike practices spiritually centered mindfulness in his daily life and brings this awareness and its benefits to his personal and professional relationships.

Our Stronger Consulting Team

Our team consists of a variety of team members with a diversity of experiences and backgrounds. Our team leaders all have experience operating in school systems, as teachers, or building and growing nationally recognized non-profit organizations such as The Broad Center and Teach for America.  Many of our consultants were specifically hired and trained in management consulting firms including Parthenon, Accenture, McKinsey, and others.

Stronger has attracted and selected these individuals to join its core team and brings empathetic, optimistic, and caring individuals with serious horsepower to our work with you on behalf of children.

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Program Consulting

In partnership with the Broad Center, Stronger Consulting created a suite of personalized toolkits designed to support new chiefs across different functional areas to enter their new roles effectively and efficiently.  The tool kits included personal development support, entry planning support and advice from CEOs and district leaders.

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Program Consulting

New Schools Venture Fund For the New Schools Venture Fund, Stronger Consulting developed a network and relationships to find educational entrepreneurs interested in becoming new school founders. Stronger Consulting led the outreach campaign including marketing support, pitch calls, and webinars to engage audiences to learn about the Innovative Public School Leaders program. This campaign generated 130 new individual leads, 160 institutional contacts and led to more than 40 applications for innovative school leaders. The Innovative Public Schools program currently has 82 new school ventures underway.

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Program Consulting

Emerge Resilient is a life coaching program designed by Stronger Consulting to support young adults in building a set of life skills and learning how to adapt to be more resilient, and stretch in new ways.  Through this program, which includes horse therapy, participants are equipped to meet young adult life outcomes and grow into functional adults.

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Program Consulting

Stronger Consulting led the model development for Transcend’s “Yellow Hats League,” a network designed to bring together a diverse community of world-class experts who build and spread innovative models of education. From idea conception through execution, we designed the partnership model, developed partnerships with potential clients and service providers, and created a sustainable system to assess and retain partners.

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Program Consulting

In partnership with UC San Diego, Stronger Consulting led program development and fundraising for the PATHS Scholars Program to increase the number, persistence, and success of under-resourced and underrepresented minority students in STEM.

With the Center For Research On Educational Equity, Assessment & Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at UC San Diego, Stronger Consulting developed programing, protocols and relationships with industry corporate partners to provide internships and career development for young people who have limited access to these opportunities.  The internship program creates pathways for young people to become connected to the private industry in high school and college and gain exposure to new careers and career pathways.  

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Management Consulting

 

With Brick Education Network, Stronger Consulting tackled three key areas critical to organizational success and sustainability.  By developing a strategic growth plan, consulting on strategic fund development, and constructing a compensation study and total compensation plan, our consultants prepared Brick for the next phase of growth. 

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Management Consulting

At a critical moment of organizational reflection, Stronger Consulting led a CEO and board-level working session which included strategic direction discussions ultimately leading to the next phase of growth for Green Dot Public Schools.  

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Management Consulting

Through a multi-year partnership, Stronger Consulting led strategic fund development including identifying new leads, producing pitch materials, applying for mission-critical grants and establishing a bank for future outreach all resulting in raising 20% of KIPP San Diego’s annual budget.  Stronger Consulting was also a key thought partner in the merger decision of KIPP San Diego and KIPP LA.  

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Search & Recruiting

For College Track Colorado, Stronger Consulting filled multiple roles including a critical Site Director role which needed highly-qualified candidates in a short timeframe.  By creating an extended application to assess candidate skills and experience and conducting thorough screenings that probed for effectiveness and depth in previous roles, College Track was excited and relieved to find a solid candidate match. 

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Seach & Recruiting

In partnership with Equitas Schools, Stronger consulting led the search, interviews, and placement process for three key roles including Chief of Staff, Founding School Principal, and Chief Development officer.

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Program Consulting

Lifting Our Stories is a newly created organization designed to help young people explore career opportunities and access college readiness academic and application  support.  Stronger Consulting provides monthly guidance including organizational founding, by law creation, board development, executive coaching and program resources.  

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Program Consulting

Facing a growing middle school and high school population with no engagement activities, Strong Consulting worked with St. Bart’s Epsicopal to develop a comprehensive youth ministry program and to search and hire for a program coordinator. 

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Program Consulting

In response to COVID-19, Stronger Consulting developed, launched and trained staff on Scholar Unlimited--a traditional summer and after school program that had to be transformed to an online product.  From sourcing and purchasing a learning management system to redesigning a finished product to meet shifting district requirements, Strong Consulting developed curriculum, set up a parent helpline, trained teachers and provided tech support leading to a successful launch and execution. This innovative programmatic solution radically changed the clients product during an urgent and critically important time for children and teachers to access education in new ways.  

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Program Consulting

College Connect in an in-development app geared toward providing young people college counseling support.  Stronger Consulting provides organizational and leadership coaching on a monthly basis which has led to monetary awards for the ed tech product.  

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