Over and over again, it has been proven that Philando Castile was a kind hearted and loving man. One thing that he often did as the cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori in St. Paul, MN was paid for the lunch of students who were unable to do so. “No child goes hungry so we ensure that every student has breakfast and also lunch whether they can pay or not,” Stacy Koppen, Nutritional Services Director for St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) told WCCO.
Some students are eligible for free school lunch, but many aren’t. When students can’t pay for their lunch, they will run a debt. “Lunches just for one elementary student are about $400 a year,” Koppen said. “When a student couldn’t pay for their lunch, a lot of times (Castile) actually paid for their lunch out of his own pocket,” she said. Castile’s kind gesture moved the heart of one college professor to keep the ball rolling despite Castile’s untimely death.
Inver Hills Community College professor Pam Fergus typically assigns her students in her Diversity and Ethics class a service project, but this time created her own. “His death changed who I am,” Fergus said. Her project is called Philando Feeds the Children. The project started with a $5,000 goal that was then doubled and so far has raised over $13,800 with 90 days left to donate. Castile’s mother Valerie also told WCCO and Fergus she plans to match the final total with her own donation. “She said the only thing I want for my son is for people to remember him with honor and dignity,” said Fergus.
St. Paul Schools have also started their own campaign, Food For Thought, which allows people to make a donation to clear lunch debts.“That campaign helped us raise almost $40,000 (last year) and it helped almost 2,000 students who couldn’t pay for their meals,” said Koppen. “This year we have almost 900 students who currently appear that they need our help as well.”
Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Stevie Wonder and Doug E. Fresh are among the artists who will honor Prince at his official tribute concert next month in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Billed as Prince: The Official Prince Tribute — A Celebration of Life and Music, the event is organized by the late musician’s family and estate, and will take place Oct. 13 at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center in his hometown.
The lineup also includes Christina Aguilera, John Mayer, Tori Kelly, Luke James, Bilal, Mint Condition, Morris Day & the Time, Judith Hill and Liv Warfield, the New Power Generation featuring Morris Hayes plus members of 3RDEYEGIRL.
The concert is expected to bring in more than $1 million to Prince’s estate, according to The Star Tribune.
High schooler Caleb Smith (pictured) recently defied his disability by winning his first wrestling bout for his St. Paul Minnesota high school, according to CBS Minnesota. Smith lost his limbs when he contracted a rare meningitis blood disorder at the age of 3-years-old that caused his blood vessels to burn.
Due to his illness, the Harding senior’s parents were forced to make the heart-ripping decision to have their son’s arms and legs removed at their respective joints. “I was 3, so I hadn’t developed writing and walking skills completely, so it was pretty easy getting used to it, Smith said of his experience.
Fifth grade was when Smith began to dabble in the highly aggressive sport of wrestling, and his positive attitude about himself allowed him to take part in his first match.
As far as the sport goes, even though Smith weighs a feathery 120 pounds, don’t let his size fool you; the teen has learned to use his physique to help him maintain a competitive edge against his opponents. According to his high school coaches, Smith moves better than his rivals and has led his school in escapes this year.
“He’s got the kind of strength people don’t normally see at 120,” coach Otto Kraus told CBS Minnesota. “Plus, the way he can move makes it hard to wrestle him.”
The young dynamo does have one drawback, though: he gets winded more easily than his opponents. In order to combat this Smith says he trains tirelessly so that he can overcome wrestling’s physical challenges. “For them to run 10 yards or whatever, it takes them like 20 steps,” he said. “But it takes me like 30 because my legs can only move so far,” he told CBS Minnesota.