The life-changing power of our DECA program

The life-changing power of our DECA program

Posted On

Jul 4, 2019

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Are you a social entrepreneur or innovator looking to be part of a dynamic community? Do you love meeting new people and solving new problems every day? Would you exchange eight hours a week for a fantastic free workspace? The DECA program is perfect for you. To find out more about the program, click here! To hear first-hand the impact this program has had on past and current participants, check out these testimonials below:



“It’s actually difficult to articulate the full extent of what I got out of finding CSI through the DECA program, but in the 10 years I’ve lived in Toronto, being in the DECA program was the first time I felt connected to a community. I made connections with people who were up to great things that I ordinarily wouldn’t have the opportunity to connect with, I made amazing friends that I still see regularly, and being part of the co-working space gave me a sense of grounding and belonging during a tough transition phase in my career. I can honestly say that being part of CSI changed the trajectory of my life and made me a much happier and more fulfilled human.” – ​Kale Ridsdale


“MY DECA time at CSI has done a lot for my network, my business and my wallet! I’ve made some pretty awesome connections, hired people, and have been hired as well! I’ve met people who are experts in their industry and were able to help me grow my biz. For example: another DECA named Anabelle sat me down and interviewed me about Embodying the Sexual Being Within. This mini series film did wonders for the marketing in my biz! Gillian — a member in the community and the CEO of Birthmark — offered my partner and I the honour of joining their Board of Directors. It’s a new field for us, and we are super excited to explore this part of our business skill sets. What ever you take in life, you must give back, this is the flow of nature. My DECA role is where I live that out. Making people smile with silly, and effective, antics. You may not understand this part unless you’ve seen it! They don’t call me Queen Animator for nothing!” – Maria Espinosa


“I become a DECA in 2017. It was the best decision I made. Being a DECA means you are fully immersed in the community, I was committed to spending more time in the space. This led me to co-founding the Changemakers Mastermind group with fellow CSI members. Our mighty group has been meeting twice a month for nearly two years in a CSI meeting room.  We have the opportunity to discuss challenges and successes we have had in our business. It has been instrumental in helping us all to move our businesses forward.” – Charmaine Bryan


“I’d been struggling to find some traction and build momentum for a while, alone at my dining room table. I knew what I was lacking was the inspiration, possibility and opportunity that can come from being part of a working community. Joining the DECA program at CSI has been one of the best personal and professional decisions I’ve made. I enjoy coming in for my DECA shifts each Monday, and am grateful for the opportunity to help this space and community flow. Inspiration, focus and opportunities are best found when working in a community of good people. I’m now starting to find traction and build momentum toward a new life. It’s a valuable, innovative resource to say the least.” – Thom Finlayson


“Becoming a DECA was the best way to integrate into the amazing CSI community and get to know so many people here. As a DECA I made many friendships and got connections in the community that helped me to move forwards with my business. I highly recommend this opportunity to make friendships, long-lasting connections, and as an entrance to such a great collaborative community working to make a difference in this world” – Katt Grant


“I moved to Toronto the night before I started the DECA program, and I owe so much to that experience. It allowed me to connect to an incredibly supportive and inspiring community in the city. As a naturally introverted person, it was the gentle push I needed to quickly and easily meet a wide array of CSI members who would recognize me due to my role in the space. Beyond personal gain, CSI helped me achieve my professional goals. Everyone who participated in the first season of my Connexion project — cast and crew — I met through the community. It was a moving experience to screen the first season six months later at CSI Spadina to an audience of CSI members and friends. It is an ongoing pleasure to be a part of this community.” – Anabelle Budd


Do you want to have your own success story to add to this impressive list? Apply for our DECA program today!