Kendrick Castillo and Team 4418 Update

May 14, 2019 By Donald E. Bossi, FIRST President


Dear FIRST community,

The tragic death of Kendrick Castillo during the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting in Colorado last week has continued to weigh heavily on my mind and many others in our FIRST community. Kendrick was an active member of FIRST Robotics Competition Team 4418, STEM IMPULSE. Read more here.

The more I’ve learned about Kendrick, the more I regret that I never had the chance to meet this amazing young man in person. However, I know I’m not alone in feeling like I do know Kendrick through his connection to our community, which his loved ones have generously shared over the past few days.

Kendrick left a significant mark on the world, not only from his heroic final actions, but in all he contributed in his young life, including sharing his love for his robotics team, engineering, and cars, and his commitment to mentoring younger generations. With the loving support of his parents, teammates, and mentors, Kendrick truly embodied the values of the FIRST community.

Thank you to all who have helped show Team 4418 that they have the full support of their FIRST family, whether you have expressed your grief and condolences through heartfelt messages to the team or contributed the fundraising effort. Team 4418 has heard you, and they feel the love, compassion, and support of the community.

Via our online fundraiser, the FIRST community has raised more than $50,000 from 1,000+ donors for the Team 4418 Victim Support and Memorial Fund. We expect that will continue to rise in the coming days.

Kendrick’s family graciously opened Kendrick’s celebration of life to the local FIRST community. Services will be this Wednesday, May 15, and several Colorado FIRST Robotics Competition teams will join Team 4418 to create a robot procession in Kendrick’s honor. Frank Merrick and I will be joining Colorado FIRST in representing the FIRST family at the ceremony.

Many of you have asked how to participate if you do not live locally in Colorado. In honor of Kendrick’s celebration of life, FIRST and FIRST Robotics Competition social media channels will carry a special #KendrickCastillo profile image this week. Teams in attendance will also carry this image on buttons and robot flags. We welcome you all to join us by swapping your profile image for this graphic (see below).

The Castillo family wants to ensure that Team 4418 continues in Kendrick’s memory, so it can be a source of passion and joy for future students. We’re committed to helping them. We are working on efforts to honor Kendrick during the FIRST Robotics Competition season and provide additional support to his team. We will share more details at a later time.



#KendrickCastillo social media graphic

Download image file

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