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High school classmates of Philando Castile were gutted last week when the police officer who killed him on the side of a suburban Minnesota street was found not guilty.

Protesters gathered in November outside the St. Paul school where Philando Castile worked. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.

In the week since, several of them have turned their outrage into action, raising over $5,000 for a scholarship in Castile's name.


"We really didn’t ask for it. People just didn’t know what to do with their grief and all of that," says Abby Heuckendorf, who went to school with Castile from fourth grade on and is a member of Central Honors Philando, the group that established the fund.

Heuckendorf and a half-dozen others who grew up with Castile established the scholarship fund shortly after his death in 2016 at the suggestion of Central High School's principal.

The small team settled on the scholarship as a fitting tribute to the memory of their classmate who continued to work in the school district where they grew up as a much-beloved kitchen employee — known to students as "Phil" — for 14 years.

The money raised in the days following the verdict adds to the over $45,000 that Central Honors Philando has raised in Castile's name since the shooting.

"It still feels like losing somebody in your larger family circle," Heukendorf says.

The first scholarship grant was awarded to Marques Watson-Taylor, a 2017 Central graduate who the group selected based on an application that the committee felt accorded with Castile's background and values.

[rebelmouse-image 19527469 dam="1" original_size="582x422" caption="Philando Castile's mother Valerie, left, and sister Allysza with scholarship recipient Marques Watson-Taylor. Photo by Central Honors Philando/Facebook." expand=1]Philando Castile's mother Valerie, left, and sister Allysza with scholarship recipient Marques Watson-Taylor. Photo by Central Honors Philando/Facebook.

The committee has raised over $45,000 since

The group was planning to kick off a fundraising campaign — culminating in an outdoor community event in August — for next year's award when the verdict came down.

"It was like, 'Oh, we’re back to square one,'" says Adrian Perryman, a member of the fundraising group whose older brother was a classmate of Castile's at Central High School in St. Paul.

"This is a way for people to help out in a sort of different way, to grieve as well as give back."
— Adrian Perryman

After a brief statement on Facebook condemning the verdict, donations to Central Honors Philando began pouring in organically — enough within one week to finance next year's scholarship.

The group still plans to hold the fundraising event in August, which will include food, art projects, and performances in memory of Castile's life.

[rebelmouse-image 19527470 dam="1" original_size="700x467" caption="Attendees at last year's fundraising event listen to a musical performance. Photo by Central Honors Philando/Facebook." expand=1]Attendees at last year's fundraising event listen to a musical performance. Photo by Central Honors Philando/Facebook.

In addition to those events, the group will honor individuals who work behind the scenes to support local schools, inspired by Castile's dedication to the district's students.

All proceeds from the event will support the scholarship, with the goal of helping more Central High students take the next step in their education.

"Not everybody wants to protest," Perryman explains. "Not everybody is able to do certain things. Not everybody can camp out at their elected official's office all week and whatnot, so this is a way for people to help out in a sort of different way, to grieve as well as give back."

Devastated but not defeated by his case's resolution, Castile's neighbors may yet get justice by establishing a small semblance of it for the next generation.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.