Anthony Silvestro – Anthony the Exemplary

We often hear and frequently confirm that kids say the darndest things, but many of us can also testify that they engage in the bravest endeavors, too. Anthony Silvestro, who yesterday graduated from St. Anthony of Padua Regional Catholic School, 913 Pierce St., wins favor as one such child, especially for his courage and conviction in countering a genetic disorder.

The resident of the 3100 block of South 18th Street contends with Apert Syndrome, an affliction that causes skull deformities leading to physical and learning disadvantages. Thanks to loving family members, peers, and educators, as well as his devotion to God, the teenager refrains from feeling forlorn and concentrates on his blessings. He relied on his resiliency during this year’s second trimester, during which yet another surgery left him in considerable pain. A diligent pupil, with a thorough research paper and presentation on the September 11 attacks as profound proof of his tenacity, Anthony made each day at his East Passyunk Crossing-based alma mater an affirmation of his curiosity and commitment to inspiring others.

Nominator Dana Rose Smith-Papp, his English Language Arts instructor for two years, noted that his Apert Syndrome diagnosis came at birth. Anyone who interacts with him could probably say that his dedication likewise saw its genesis 16 years ago, too. Eager to “protect others and make them safe,” he aspires to become a Philadelphia Police Officer. Here’s to his hopes and to our opportunities to be their beneficiaries. – Joseph Myers