S. Pruchnicki
Testimonial by Steven Prucknicki
I am pleased and privileged to offer this letter of reference for Mr. Ben Fedoruk. Three Things Consulting, a national consulting company focused on youth voice and healthy development has been working with young people in Thunder Bay for more than 20 years. We met Ben when he helped create a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in 2018 who led the designing, developing and delivering of Voices for Youth 2019, a two-day youth forum for more than 100 Indigenous students from high schools throughout the city. Meeting Ben was a highlight of our work in Thunder Bay over the last few years. He is caring, patient, insightful, creative and very hard working. We learned quickly that his leadership with the Regional Multicultural Youth Council, (another role he has played) has prepared him to be a strong leader who walks in a good and honourable way.

Ben consistently provided truly altruistic and dedicated volunteerism during the planning process and delivery of the event. His attendance and contribution at planning sessions was highly motivated and deeply passionate. He became a strong role model to the other participants. We were able to witness his devotion to creating safe and inclusive spaces for students, while developing his own sense of what it means to be an ally to the Indigenous community. His skills in process design were superb and his critical thinking capacity was beyond most people his age. As we got to know Ben, it was an honour to attend a community event where his contributions and achievements were recognized, especially based on his humility throughout the event. Ben regularly demonstrated his understanding that what he has been able to achieve was not solely based on his contribution, but the supports he had that allowed him to share what he did.

We found him to be hard working, intelligent and ambitious in his desire to learn from others and provide other youth an opportunity to have their voices heard, who for many, hadn't had that experience before. We saw his leadership capacity, with how well he understood the value of taking a step back and creating space for others to be courageous and lead. It should be pointed out, that as a leader in the development and delivery of Voices of Youth 2020, Ben's creative approach to engaging other youth helped the program be as successful as it was, providing powerful insight for educators, leaders and community organizations in the lived experience of Indigenous students in Thunder Bay. We would be honoured to include him as a part of our team on projects going forward.

What we respect most about Ben is his ability to say no thank you. We reached out following this event to attend a national youth gathering and to work on other projects. We wanted to honour his contributions and outstanding character. That said, he passed, humbly and respectfully. Not that he wasn't interested but instead, he had other commitments he didn't want to shortchange by being distracted by other activities and felt other youth could have the opportunity.
Written by Steven Pruchnicki

Project Lead, 3 Things Consulting

January 2020