DENVER (CBS4)– A total of 30 robotics teams from across the region competed Saturday at Denver’s East High School in the first Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament. Kendrick, 18, was killed May 7 in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting while trying to stop one of the gunmen.
“I have a lot of memories of him smiling and making really cool jokes,” said STEM School Highlands Ranch Senior Katie Butler.
“Moving on shouldn’t mean forgetting,” she added.
Katie is the software lead for STEM IMPULSE, the robotics team that was so much a part of Kendrick Castillo’s life.
“We don’t want to forget Kendrick and we don’t want to forget everything that he meant to us, but we do want to be able to move on and help continue the team that he loved so much,” she said.
John Castillo stopped by the tournament named in honor of his late son.
“The outpouring of love and support after the tragic events is monument and this is extra special,” he said, adding,” As people discover Kendrick, I can’t help but imagine that they wonder how he became the person he was, you know this community and family have a lot to do with that.”
He refers to the FIRST Robotics (FRC) community as family and suggests that with the loss of his son, comes a charge for us all.
“Do not be a victim, Kendrick wasn’t a victim, I’m not victim. I want people to embrace life. Create relationships, friendships as you’re building robots and doing great things. If you’re not into robotics, create friends,” he said, challenging everyone to share the love and kindness that was as much a signature of Kendrick Castillo as was his smile.
“Man, we’re just supported and we’re experiencing what love does and I don’t want that to stop and I hope that people remember that Kendrick is the catalyst to keep that going,” he said.