Phoenix high school sophomore provides 'love bundles' to kids who need it most, wins awards

After seeing one of her classmates fail a writing assignment because she didn't have school supplies, Kaitlyn Martinez decided she needed to take action.

Only a sophomore at the Phoenix Coding Academy, Martinez selflessly helped her classmate get the materials she needed to succeed in school, and didn't stop there.

“We ended up doing backpack supplies for the whole school, with my old school and then it kind of just went from there,” Martinez said.

Former Rio Vista Elementary student believes teens can make a difference

Kaitlyn Martinez, 14, a student at the Phoenix Coding Academy and former Rio Vista Elementary student believes teens can make a difference. Kaitlyn started Backpacks for Kids a 501 C 3 organization. Kaitlyn started backpacks for kids when she was 11 years old and one of her friends didn’t have any school supplies so Kaitlyn and her mom got her school supplies and that lead Kaitlyn and her mom Michelle to have a conversation about kids not having school supplies. That led to a school supply drive at her school. They were able to give everyone school supplies that needed them and it turned into an organization that gives an average of 1,000 back packs with school supplies and Love Bundles (bags for kids entering foster homes, shelters or who are homeless.)

Phoenix Mercury And BBVA Compass Announce Winner Of Its "Bright Futures Women In Business" Promotion

Backpacks 4 Kids AZ, Inc. has been awarded with $2,500 in cash and $5,000 in Phoenix Mercury assets, courtesy of BBVA Compass

The Phoenix Mercury and BBVA Compass have officially announced Backpacks 4 Kids AZ, Inc. as the winner of the second annual "Bright Futures Women in Business" promotion, an initiative designed to support women-owned businesses and create opportunity for a brighter future throughout the Valley.

The four-week program encouraged leaders from women-owned businesses to write a short essay expressing how $2,500 in cash and $5,000 in Phoenix Mercury assets, courtesy of BBVA Compass and its 2017 "Year of Opportunity for Small Businesses" initiative, will make the future of their business brighter. 

She’s got your back(pack)

West Valley girl creates nonprofit to give disadvantaged youths school supplies

Childhood is often spent playing games, going to school, eating candy and making new friends. One Valley youth is spending her childhood making sure other children don’t go without.

Kaitlyn Martinez, 13, of Tolleson created Backpacks 4 Kids AZ Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, in 2015 to help local disadvantaged youths fill their backpacks with necessary supplies.

“I created Backpacks 4 Kids AZ after one of my friends failed a writing assignment because she did not have pencils and paper at home and was too embarrassed to tell the teacher,” Kaitlyn said. “It made me start wondering how many other kids are failing for the same reason.”

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