DESTA was founded in 2006 with a mandate to focus on the employability needs of Black youth in Little Burgundy. An integrated strategy was adopted to address both systemic and personal barriers to employment, such as justice involvement, housing, and lack of resources.
Recognizing the economic needs of participants, DESTA’s mission was redefined in 2017 to center on education, employability, and entrepreneurship. On-site structured programming was developed to give participants access to diverse training opportunities and to help them build greater financial security.
DESTA is located on unceded Indigenous lands of which the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation are recognized as the custodians. Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal) is historically known as a site of meeting and exchange for many First Nations. Today it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples. We respectfully acknowledge this legacy as it informs past, present, and future in our relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within the Montreal community.
Frances and Scott,
Co‑Founders of DESTA,
“DESTA is a home away from home”
Kelly Thompson, Coordinator of Continued Learning
“You support this one individual, who then in turn, gives back to an entire community”
First Desta graduates