Since 2012 Kathleen Duncan, known as Tia Katy to the kids of Rocky Point, has dedicated her life to improving the lives of young people in need in this community. In 2016 she founded a program called ‘Educarte’ focused on providing local youth with a path out of poverty through education.

How you can help change a life for less than $100

We know that education is the best tool we can give a young person to escape poverty. But what if you don’t have the basic resources necessary to even begin the school year? What if your parents are struggling to meet even your family’s basic needs and simply cannot afford a backpack and school supplies you need to be able to attend your local public school?

When I started this program in 2016, I learned that the cost of school supplies is a barrier to education for many local students. I was shocked the first time I saw the long list of materials required for elementary school students and for older students, the list includes more expensive items such as a scientific calculator, geometry kit and copy paper. In all, the cost to purchase a backpack and required school supplies runs between $60 – $90 USD depending on the age of the student. Tragically, this leaves many local parents having to choose between meeting their children’s basic needs and sending them to school. In fact, of the 72 students we supported that first year, very few came from families who could afford this expense.

During the first couple of years of this program I was able to round up donations of materials from friends and family in the U.S. and we were we were able to provide backpacks and school supplies for all our students. However, as the program began to grow, it became more difficult for me to transport large quantities of donated backpacks and supplies from Arizona to Rocky Point. So, by our third year we began focusing more in raising funds to purchase supplies for our students locally. Of course, then this pandemic hit, leaving local students facing unprecedented barriers to education. Unfortunately, there are now more local students than ever needing more support than ever to stay in school.

Before this pandemic education was the best chance these kids had to escape poverty. It still is.

Before COVID we were supporting 588 students and we are now supporting more than 800. Quite honestly, the thought of providing so many students with backpacks and the school supplies they need to be ready to return to in-person classes in the fall is a bit overwhelming. Although we have our work cut out for us, I am confident that we will be able to provide these young people with the resources they need to begin next school year prepared for success. Thanks to many loyal supporters who visit Rocky Point on a regular basis we have been receiving donations of backpacks and school supplies for the past several months. However, we still need a lot of help!

If you would like to support our efforts to provide backpacks and/or school supplies for a deserving student, you can make a one-time donation or sponsor a student by setting up a monthly recurring donation at If you will be visiting Rocky Point in the next few months, you can also bring donations of backpacks and school supplies and donate them at one of several locations listed on the flyer included here.

Muchas Gracias!