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Phoenix teen named finalist of $25K contest to foster change in community

PHOENIX — A teenage girl from Phoenix has been named as a finalist for Mayflower’s “Mover of Movers,” a contest that recognizes individuals who are fostering change in their communities.

Phoenix native and 16-year-old Kaitlyn Martinez is the founder of Backpacks 4 Kids, an organization that supports Arizona school systems by providing supplies to students in need.

Mayflower, a moving company, has select three finalists and is awarding the $25,000 grand prize to the winner so that they can apply it toward their respective organization.

Martinez intends to spend the $25,000 prize money on Chromebooks and refurbished computers should she be declared victor of the competition.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic shifting Arizona education to distance learning until at least Aug. 17, students will be partaking in a remote classroom that requires access to computer technology.

“With the money, we would be able to buy technology supplies for those students and be able to provide them for the community,” she said in the video.

Martinez’s long-term goal is to branch out and partner with representatives outside of Arizona so that other states can have their own Backpack 4 Kids organization.

“If I win or not, a lot more people will have heard of Backpacks 4 Kids by the end of the day and really that means everything,” Martinez said.

The winner of the contest will be decided by a worldwide vote, which will be held online until Aug. 17.

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