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Distinguished Finalist

Kaitlyn Martinez

Tolleson, Arizona

Kaitlyn Martinez, 16, of Tolleson, Arizona, a senior at Phoenix Coding Academy, started and runs “Backpacks 4 Kids,” a nonprofit that has provided more than 10,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to children in need; her organization also offers “love bundles,” which include hygiene products, a blanket and toys for children in transitional housing. Kaitlyn was first inspired to start her project after learning that a classmate failed an assignment because she didn’t have the supplies she needed to complete her work.