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Classmates of Philando Castile award first scholarship in his honor

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Marques Watson inside MPR.
Marques Watson, the first recipient of the $5,000 Philando Castile Memorial Scholarship, stands for a portrait inside the Kling Public Media Center in St. Paul, Minn. on Monday.
Evan Frost | MPR News

It's been a year today since Philando Castile was shot and killed by police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. 

Marques Watson is the first recipient of the Castile Memorial Scholarship.
Marques Watson is the first recipient of the Philando Castile Memorial Scholarship at St. Paul Central High School. He stands with Castile's sister, Allysza, left, and mother Valerie on June 30.
Courtesy of Marques Watson

One of the ways Castile will be remembered is through a scholarship named in his honor. A group of Central High School alumni from Castile's graduating class of 2001 started a $5,000 scholarship to be awarded to a young man of color each year. 

The first recipient of the Philando Castile Memorial Scholarship is Marques Watson, who graduated from Central High School this year. He will attend St. Paul College for two years to study mechanical engineering before transferring to a four-year school. 

"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. "This scholarship is great because it takes a little weight off my shoulders."  

The scholarship committee is now hoping to raise $100,000 to be able to form an endowment for the award. They are well on their way, having raised more than $50,000. 

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