Philando Castile’s classmates give out the first scholarship in his honor, one year after his death

Philando Castile’s classmates give out the first scholarship in his honor, one year after his death
A memorial including a photo of Philando Castile adorns the gate to the governor’s residence in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Source: Jim Mone/AP
A memorial including a photo of Philando Castile adorns the gate to the governor’s residence in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Source: Jim Mone/AP

Minnesota’s Twin Cities marked one year since the police shooting death of Philando Castile at a ceremony on Wednesday, where some of his former high school classmates awarded the first scholarship in his honor.

The group of alumni, who graduated with Castile in 2001 from Central High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, gave out the inaugural Philando Castile Memorial Scholarship of $5,000, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

The scholarship went to 2017 Central High graduate Marques Watson, who plans to attend St. Paul College, where he will study mechanical engineering for two years. Watson told MPR he would transfer to a four-year school after earning an associate degree.

“Before I received this scholarship, I had no way ... at all, that I was going to be able to help myself, and my family really has no money to help me,” Watson said, according to MPR.

Protestors carry a banner depicting Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 16.
Source: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Castile’s classmates announced the scholarship in August and said it would be awarded to a young man of color each year. A scholarship committee told MPR it hopes to establish a $100,000 endowment for the award — the committee has already raised over $50,000.

Castile was an employee of St. Paul Public Schools and was a food service worker at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School, right up until his death. He was shot and killed by St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, during a July 6, 2016, traffic stop. Yanez opened fire on Castile with his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her daughter in the car, as Castile was retrieving his ID.

The case drew national attention, in part, because Reynolds livestreamed the aftermath of the shooting to Facebook. Months later, a jury acquitted Yanez of manslaughter and weapons charges. After the June 16 verdict, the city of St. Anthony said it would seek Yanez’s voluntary separation agreement.

On June 26, lawyers for the Castile family announced a $3 million settlement of their wrongful death lawsuit against St. Anthony and the police department. It’s unclear if any of the settlement will be used to fund the Castile scholarship.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Aaron Morrison

Aaron is a Senior Staff Writer for The Movement at Mic. He covers the intersection of race, justice, politics, diversity and civil rights. He has previously written for IB TImes, Miami Herald, The Bergen Record of New Jersey and the Associated Press. Send tips to aaron@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Minneapolis police chief resigns after fatal shooting of Australian woman

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau announced in a Facebook post that she is stepping aside.

Mentally ill prisoners in Louisiana forced to bark like dogs for food, lawsuit claims

Investigators came. Everyone was told not to speak to them.

Philando Castile’s mother supports Justine Damond’s family at march in Minneapolis

"We're just here to support the family," she said. "That's all."

Lawyer says Justine Damond is “most innocent” police shooting victim he’s ever seen

Observers were quick to point out that several black children have been killed by police.

A jail in Tennessee is offering reduced sentences for voluntary vasectomies

Eugenics lives on in 2017.

How the media covers “honor killings” in different ways for women of different religions

Experts say these deaths should be viewed as acts of domestic violence.

Minneapolis police chief resigns after fatal shooting of Australian woman

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau announced in a Facebook post that she is stepping aside.

Mentally ill prisoners in Louisiana forced to bark like dogs for food, lawsuit claims

Investigators came. Everyone was told not to speak to them.

Philando Castile’s mother supports Justine Damond’s family at march in Minneapolis

"We're just here to support the family," she said. "That's all."

Lawyer says Justine Damond is “most innocent” police shooting victim he’s ever seen

Observers were quick to point out that several black children have been killed by police.

A jail in Tennessee is offering reduced sentences for voluntary vasectomies

Eugenics lives on in 2017.

How the media covers “honor killings” in different ways for women of different religions

Experts say these deaths should be viewed as acts of domestic violence.