2020 Halo Hero Humanitarian Award Recipient: Cuthbert Forbes Jr

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Mr. Cuthbert Marcellus Forbes Jr was born on January 24 1995, to loving parents Cuthbert Marcellus Forbes Snr & Jacklyn Williams. His early years and most of his life was rooted within the Potters community where he attended primary school.

Cuthbert’s unabashed demonstration of his passion for academia, service, volunteerism, and leadership began during his tenure at the Clare Hall Secondary School. In sports, Cuthbert was a star member of the track and field team and a two-year vice president of his sports house. By way of service, Cuthbert was the public relations officer of the environmental cadet group and, most notably, the president of the school’s young leader group, which, under his leadership, won the Young Leaders National Award and Regional Young Leaders award for a water conservation project where water storage barrels and tanks were donated to households in and around his then school community who were experiencing difficulty accessing water. Cuthbert excelled in debate and in 2011 he was selected as the Clare Hall School’s debate team first speaker and proceeded to win the “best overall speaker” title at the ECCA Virtual debating competition and inter-house debate competition in the same year. In 2011 Cuthbert was selected as the recipient of the Optimist Club’s Gentlemen award for performing arts as recognition for his active involvement in dance and pageantry, having competed in the 2009 Teen Splash competition and for placing first runner up in the 2011 Star Antigua competition. With both his talent for public speaking and performing arts being recognized nationally, he was sought after as a public personality. As such, in 2011, Cuthbert was invited to host a radio program on Crusader radio, “KARMA -Youth in progress”, to provide a youth perspective on topics of national importance. Cuthbert thus graduated from the Clare Hall Secondary school in 2012 with an extensive portfolio of academic and extra-curricular successes.

Cuthbert attended the Antigua State College from 2013-2015 where he continued to excel as a leader and a performing artist, balancing his academic pursuits with an active membership in both the National Youth Choir and the National Dance Theatre. In 2014 he was crowned Mr. Antigua State College and in the same year he was selected as the head host of the first season of Good Morning Antigua & Barbuda Teen edition on ABS TV. Finally, in 2014, Cuthbert was chosen as the Prime Minister of the Independence Youth Parliament sitting where he debated a proposed Bill on the house floor as the “leader of the nation”.

Though only 17 years old, Cuthbert entered the world of work in 2012 interning as an Assistant to the Director-General of Communications in the Prime Minister’s office. He held that position until July 2013 when he began his studies at the Antigua State College. Upon graduating from the ASC in 2015 Cuthbert worked as the Entertainment Coordinator and Guest Service Agent at the Verandah Resort & Spa from November 2015 until May 2016 where he put his love for the performing arts as well as his communications skills to perfect use.

Mr. Cuthbert Forbes Jr currently performs a number of important roles. He is an Administrative Assistant within the Office of the Governor General and the Senior Assistant to the Governor General’s Goodwill Emissary Her Excellency, Lady Williams and has held this position since May 2016.  In his four years, Cuthbert has become the head and heart of the team, managing diaries and diplomatic correspondences, as well as planning and executing a number of local and international events on behalf of Their Excellencies charity, The Halo Foundation Inc. Most notably, Cuthbert played a leading role in coordinating the 2016, 2018, and 2019 “Music for a Cause”, a Christmas concert styled charity event and the 2017, 2018 & 2019 “Wings of Charity” event in London, a Gala with dinner, auction, and concert. These widely successful and internationally acclaimed events served to raise funds to further the charitable work of the Halo Foundation. In coordinating these events and managing diplomatic relationships Cuthbert has had to work with Ambassadors, High Commissioners, and employees of even the Royal Household. He has handled these momentous tasks with professionalism and grace beyond his years.

Additionally, Cuthbert works as the Public Relations Officer of the Halo Foundation Inc and is the Chief of Administration, and Public relations officer for the youth contingent of the Halo Foundation – Halo Generation Y. Cuthbert has represented Halo Foundation Inc. internationally in Shanghai, China in 2017 at the World Travel Fair and in Venice, Italy at the Venice Biennale in 2018.

Through Halo Gen Y, in 2019 Cuthbert helped to coordinate a day-long event to address suicide and depression amongst youth called “Future proof” and Cuthbert himself became a peer counsellor for depressed and suicidal youth. Cuthbert has been a key part of the various projects undertaken over the years through this organization such as the raising of over $40,000 to help affected residents in Barbuda after hurricane Irma in 2017, Donations of school and sporting equipment to the Boys Training school just to name a small few. This group continues to find progressive and healthy ways to give back to and engage with vulnerable groups of youth. For his work with the Halo Foundation Generation Y, Cuthbert was invited as the keynote speaker at the Kiwani’s induction ceremony in 2018 and nominated for a JCI YEP Youth Empowerment award in 2019.

Despite his busy schedule and heavy involvement in the work of the Governor General’s Office and charities, Cuthbert’s penchant for volunteerism, service and the performing arts remains steadfast. Cuthbert is an active pageant coach and he has assisted dozens of young persons – men and women – in their pursuit of various pageant titles and crowns, from school pageants right up to larger local and regional shows. Cuthbert himself was chosen to represent Antigua and Barbuda at two CARIFESTA Events in Suriname in 2012 and in Trinidad and Tobago in 2019. He continues to dance and perform at national events and carnival. He is now a student at the University of The West Indies Five Islands Campus where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and is actively involved in the work of the National Youth Parliament and is the Chairman of the Legislative Committee.

Cuthbert Forbes has proved himself to be of exemplary character and work ethic. His dedication to succeeding in everything he does and then paying that success forward to others in his field through active mentorship and support speaks to his depth and authenticity and shows his commitment for the progression of our nation and our nation’s youth.