I had many goals for myself upon entering U of T. Managing a fair-trade café was not among them. Tucked away in a cozy corner on the first floor of Old Vic, Caffiends is a second home at U of T for many students. I found myself staying behind, waking up early, covering everyone's shifts, and always resisting the urge to hop behind he counter and grind coffee. It calmed me. In the midst of first-year struggles, Caffiends was my sanctuary. This place was different; it was safe, constant, and always welcomed me with open arms. Students of all years and programs, staff, faculty, and alumni all interact in this room. It brims with positive, inclusive energy, while providing a space for working or chatting with friends.
As a volunteer, I finally began to find a community for myself and became Co-Manager. Caffiends has changed me, and brought me so much more joy and experience than any academic course ever did. In addition to giving me the skills involved in running a business, it taught me so much about myself, about leading and negotiating, about student needs and our community, and it brought me closer to such amazing people. I wouldn't be the person I am today without this community, and it will always have a very special place in my heart."
-Linh Nguyen, Vic 1T7