Haut Gap Middle School student awarded Prudential Spirit of Community Award

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A 7th grader at Haut Gap Middle School has been awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

Riley Silverman (12) is being honored for his work fighting hunger in his community.

Silverman is involved on all fronts, from growing the food to delivering it.

He convinced Haut Gap Principal, Travis Benintedno, to allow him to plant three vegetable gardens on school grounds, which yielded a 25-pound donation to a local shelter. Silverman also shared his gardening talents with 55 kids in a hands-on workshop.

Along with his older brother, Silverman has been packing weekend lunches for food insecure kids since he was five years old.

Additionally, Silverman is the co-founder of “Catch Up on Lunch,” a non-profit that, along with other groups, holds restaurant spirit nights to fundraise for canceling lunch debt. So far, they have raised $25,000 and assisted students at four schools.

Silverman said that making sure everyone has something to eat is important to him because “when kids are hungry, they can’t enjoy school, and they won’t get the good grades that matter to get started in life.”

He enjoys his projects because they “make the world a better place” and “help kids think more about other people.”

Benintedno said that Silverman is “a student with passion and determination… [who] excels in most things he does.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Award is a nationwide program that recognizes middle and high school students for their efforts in volunteer community service.

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