The Optimist Club of Timonium has named Ridgely Middle School student Kenton Cuddington as its Student of the Month for his devotion to community service.
Cuddington amassed more than 303 service hours—the most in his class—in his three years at Ridgely Middle School.
“Well some of these things are outside and you have to be really active, which are two things that I love. My mom here really pushes me to do all of these and that helps,” Cuddington said. “She keeps me involved in church. She pushes us in scouts. She really helped my older brother achieve Eagle.”
The young man has been active cleaning up his community from his neighbors’ driveways when snow falls, to the streams of Gunpowder Valley Conservancy.
He has organized collections for children in need of school supplies to adults in need of personal hygiene products.
And he is far from finished.
The Cuddington family has twice been featured on Patch. Kenton’s older brother Clayton was honored for his efforts in clearing storm drains while pursuing his Eagle Scout certification. His younger brother Evan made our headlines after achieving the newly created Pet Care merit badge, also for the Boy Scouts of America.
Kenton said he has a few merit badges to go before he can begin his Eagle Scout service project, although he hopes to make his brother’s idea of an outdoor classroom at Timonium Elementary a reality.
“I’m very proud of him,” said Kenton’s mother Jennifer Cuddington. “I always joke and say that he’s my Tom Sawyer. If he could get one of his buddies to do his work he will, but when it comes to doing the service projects or community service—even shoveling the neighbors’ driveway—he’s always been willing to do that.
“He may not be as willing to clean his room, but he’s always willing to go that extra mile and help out. It makes me feel as a parent that we’re doing the right thing.”
Kenton’s second love to helping his community is music. The honors band saxophonist and Lutherville-Timonium Musical Ambassador has taken his talents to Scotland and hopes to perform at Dulaney High School where he will attend school next year.
“What a pleasure it is to know this wonderful young man,” Susan Wilson, Kenton’s instrumental music teacher at Ridgely, said. “One of the lovely ladies at my table was teasing me about how gorgeous he is and I said ‘yes, and all the girls in school know it too.’ There is no finer deserving person could’ve accepted this award.”