Born and raised in Langley, Michael has been passionate about public service and community involvement since his early teens. He visited Juno Beach in France as a 13 year-old and was so touched by the memorials to Canada’s fallen soldiers in France that he decided he needed to do something in Canada to show the same respect. That September he and his 18 year-old sister set up a not-for-profit organization, Langley Youth For the Fallen. His idea was to create a lasting memorial for Canadian soldiers who had fallen in his lifetime. Two years later, after working with the Township of Langley administration, the Federal government, local businesses, service groups and schools and raising close to $100,000, his dream came true. “A Walk to Remember” was officially opened on November 11, 2012 at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum. It is the only memorial of its kind in Canada, with 162 trees being planted to represent the fallen soldiers as well as civilians, and a central commemorative structure built.
He continued his passion for public service after enrolling in UBC’s Sauder School of Business by being elected elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Commerce Undergraduate Society and by being elected to the UBC Senate.
He is entering his final year of the UBC Commerce program specializing in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics. In order to pay for his university tuition, he worked on the production floor of a food manufacturer as well as a general labourer for a local construction firm before attending university. While at UBC he has worked for the athletics department for the past three years and in the summer months has worked as a Parliament of Canada intern in Ottawa and as an accounting intern with PwC, one of the “big four” international accounting firms.
For his efforts in community involvement, Michael has received a number of awards and citations, including:
- Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal – awarded “to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians”,
- Paul Harris Fellow (from Rotary International) – awarded for “service above self”,
- Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation Medal – awarded “to individuals who have contributed in an exemplary manner to the care and well-being of Veterans or to the remembrance of the contributions, sacrifices and achievements of Veterans”,
- Pete Swensson Outstanding Community Youth Award of Merit (three times), awarded in “recognition of scholastic efforts, athletic achievements and volunteer contributions to the community of Langley”,
- Co-recipient of the John and Muriel Arnason Volunteer of the Year Award of Merit, which honours people who “work together as a team to make Langley a better place through charitable, philanthropic, or other means”,
- Chosen a “Difference Maker” by The Province newspaper – awarded to high school student athletes in BC who made significant contributions to their community,
- Was the Provincial champion once, silver medalist four times, and the bronze medalist once in the Concours d’art Oratoire provincial public speaking championships,
- Was named to the Langley School District “Superintendents List” and received a Langley School District Foundation Leadership Award,
- Was a UBC Chancellor Scholar, awarded by UBC for incoming students with high academic standing; and,
- Was a Director of the Universities Model Parliament of BC.
As a young person, Michael feels compelled to be involved in helping develop what Langley will look like in the future. He feels strongly that young people must be at the table when those discussions and decisions are made. He has a proven track record of community involvement and public service, and knows that he can add value and be an important voice for Langley - not only For Today but For Tomorrow.
Feel free to visit Michael’s Facebook page (@PrattfromLangley), on LinkedIn, or on Instagram (@michael.v.pratt).