Cedarbridge student Bean’s oratory skills earn him Alpha Beautillion
For CedarBridge Academy student Marcus Bean the world is his oyster.
The teenager was recently chosen as the winner of the Alpha Beautillion after wowing a panel of judges with his oratory skills and ability to think on his feet.
It was the first time a CedarBridge Academy student took home the honour and staff and students have all been singing Marcus’ praises over the past week.
Principal Kalmar Richards said: “Marcus has made history for CedarBridge Academy. He is the first [of our] students to win the event.
“I believe he represents the qualities which are espoused by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and that this achievement will serve as an inspiration for those to follow.”
She described him as a humble, eloquent and confident young man.
Marcus is currently deputy head boy at the school and plans to attend Kent University in the fall. His dream is to become a lawyer and Mrs Richards said she was confident he would go on to “make awesome contributions to Bermuda in the future”.
The teenager took part in fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha’s six month mentorship programme — during which time he helped young boys in Dellwood Middle School’s Math Attack programme, volunteered at Matilda-Smith Rest Home on a weekly basis and attended the fraternity’s Black and Gold Ball.
He also took part in personal development seminars conducted by Belco and other mentoring programmes the fraternity conducted.
Marcus said that taking part in the Alpha Beautillion was a longtime dream of his. “Before I even reached high school, I had heard about the Beautillion because one of my god-brothers won it,” he said.
“I remembered thinking that I wish that would be me one day [so] to be selected as CedarBridge’s candidate, and to actually win it, is like a dream come true.
“It is truly an honour because we have so many males here who are doing positive things.”
Though he is used to public speaking through his roles as captain of the Debate Team and president of the National Honour Society, Marcus said it was still nerve wrecking at the start of the night.
But with support from friends and family in the audience he felt confident and admitted it was a worthwhile journey.
“It was a great experience and I gained a wealth of knowledge,” he said. “We had participated in workshops on everything from etiquette, how to conduct oneself at a formal dinner, to conducting yourself professionally, e-mail etiquette, time management skills, and how to manage yourself in college.
“I would like to thank Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity for the opportunity and the support and aid in my development throughout the competition.”
The Alpha Beautillion has been described as a “rite of passage” for young men in high school to showcase their talent and speaking abilities and take part in community services activities. Participants are selected by their school principals and given the chance to cultivate teamwork, encourage camaraderie and develop leadership skills through the competition.
Marcus Smith of Saltus Grammar School, Kyle Trott of Warwick Academy and Paul Deshield of Bermuda Institute also took part in this year’s event.
They competed in a five-minute contest where they discussed how social media impacts people on a personal and professional level. They also participated in a talent contest; question and answer session on how they plan to make unique contributions in their future careers; and a step show.
Fraternity member Lou Matthews, who is also the Director of Educational Standards and Accountability for the Ministry of Education, said he was impressed by the young people, particularly the winner Marcus.
“I was awed by his authenticity as an intellectual as he gave his oratorical speech on social media. He had a commanding presence, and was able to connect to his audience.
“He is one of the strongest winners of the competition that I have seen in recent years. I think that is what really sticks out for me [is his] great sense of humility and confidence. This is the kind of young man that you want others to emulate.”