San Antonio Elementary School is part of the Socorro Consolidated School District
El Defensor Chieftain file photo


It all started when Steve Rosas’ grandson asked Rosas if he could buy him a backpack for the upcoming school year.

Rosas then decided to buy backpacks for each student at San Antonio Elementary School.

He has helped San Antonio in previous years with the Festival of the Cranes and has donated supplies when the elementary school is in need. He has also helped out with the athletic teams at Socorro High School.

Rosas, along with his sisters, own Sofia’s Kitchen and have donated kitchen supplies or food in the past.

“Every once in a while I will just get something in my head,” he said. “I think it just goes back to my dad and how he was with the restaurant and we try to keep that tradition. He would try to do a lot with the community, especially with the schools.”

There are almost 90 students at San Antonio and Rosas paid for each backpack out-of-pocket. He said he purchased them from Amazon and they cost roughly $20 to $25 each. Once the backpacks arrived, he dropped them off at San Antonio.

JohnRay Dennis, head teacher at San Antonio, said it was a “complete surprise.”

“That was amazing,” he said. “Steve has a history with San Antonio. He’s always been so supportive and so generous with donating.”

Besides Rosas’ grandchildren attending San Antonio, he and Dennis went to school together and Rosas used to be a teaching assistant there.

Dennis said that roughly five years ago the PTO decided that they would purchase all of the school supplies for the students, but the students would have to provide their own backpack and lunchbox.

The supplies from the PTO include writing utensils, notebooks, crayons, markers, rulers and whatever else is needed. In the past year, they started giving the students headphones to be used with Chromebooks and tablets.

“We’ve always felt very proud and honored that we can buy the supplies for the families,” Dennis said. “This almost completes it. We can get them another thing.”

Dennis said he isn’t sure when the backpacks will be distributed and said he is thinking about giving them out on the first day of school or at an open house.

The students who attend summer school have already seen the backpacks and are excited to receive them.

“We have them in our foyer and they are wondering, ‘when are we going to get them? Can I get one now?’ We thought we would wait until all of our students came back and then distribute them,” Dennis said.