• High Tech for Young Minds

The Digital NEST is a high-tech space located in the heart of Watsonville. Young people ages 12-24 have access to computers, software, Wi-Fi, and other digital tools and classes. They master skills necessary to thrive in the high tech, globally connected world in which we all live. The Digital NEST is spurring interest from educators and national media as a model for conquering the 'digital divide' in underserved communities throughout the United States.

Find out about new classes and events:

6 days left!

Help us reach $200,000 by Nov. 30th to qualify for a $100,000 matching grant!

Help us reach our matching goal

Access to Technology

As members walk into the Digital NEST, they are handed a fully loaded laptop. Members use the laptops to access expensive, professional, multimedia software, take online technology courses, visit social networking sites, create original technology projects, and connect with peers and professionals with similar interests.

Technology Education

The Digital NEST creates a pathway to higher education and career opportunities by offering members thousands of online and in-house courses such as digital film making, digital game design, networking, music recording, web site design, and graphic design.

Economic Development

Digital NEST does not stop at “training” – we turn our members into technology consultants who provide technology support services to local small businesses, fostering entrepreneurship and fueling community economic development. Local and regional businesses in need of technology support can hire a Digital NEST member to complete their project at a competitive fee.

Safe Space

The first step in transforming youth and adults from low-income and rural communities into tomorrow’s tech workforce is giving them an alternative to the streets. The Digital NEST gives these youth and young adults a safe and productive place where they can reinvent their futures. We plan to use the Digital NEST model to create safe, high-tech spaces for youth in communities across the U.S.

NEST News
Clockwise from top, all NEST students unless otherwise noted: Carlos, Perla, Yazmin (NEST Program Manager), Tyson, Aiden, Manu (guest presenter), Juan Pablo, Alex, Justen (Americorps Volunteer Coordinator).
First Class at the NEST: Content Marketing 101 (Student Bios)
We held the first class ever at Digital NEST on Thursday 11/6 at 4p! It was Content Marketing 101 and we discussed the idea...
Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 2.51.32 PM
Jacob Martinez named a 2014 “Be the Difference” honoree
Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County Be The Difference Awards Recognizing the People, Groups and Businesses who make a difference in Santa Cruz County...
branches of a tree
Please Support the Digital NEST: We’re almost to our goal!
Help us meet our November 30th deadline to receive a $100,000 matching grant! We’re in the home-stretch push to reach our first fundraising goal,...
AmeriCorps-Logo
Americorp Joins In
A member of Americorp will be joining our staff to help develop our Volunteer component. They are a college graduate who can work with us full time...
View All Posts
  • The Digital NEST is going to revolutionize the way we educate and prepare our youth for the workforce.
    Jacob Martinez, Founder

Youth Served Per Month

250

Staff & Volunteers

26

Youngest Age Served

12

Oldest Age Served

24

Ready to start learning?

“Digital

The Digital NEST is open! Take a look at the list of classes we are offering and start to master the skills you need to thrive in today's high-tech, connected world.

Whether you're interested in Game Development, Film and Video, or Programming, we have a class for you!

Check out the list of Digital NEST Workshops and Events on our calendar and get started today!

Sign up »

Our supporters

Angel Funders: $25,000 and above

Startup Funders: $5,000 - $24,999

    

    

In-Kind Donors

“Adobe     “lynda.com”

Team
Team
Jacob Martinez
Founder, Executive Director
Jacob is a passionate advocate for youth and equal access to technology. For the past ten years he has led innovative computer-based programs in Pajaro Valley schools, encouraging Latina girls in particular to enter tech fields. Jacob seeks to build on the broad coalition of supporters that have made Digital Nest a reality.
Team
Yazmin Herrera
Program Manager
Yazmin is a graduate from UC Santa Cruz where she earned a degree in Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies. She spent several years working in the Watsonville community with the TEC program and the Watsonville Film Festival.
Team
Justen Time
Volunteer Coordinator
After graduating UC Santa Cruz with degrees in Environmental Studies and History, Justen sailed aboard the tall ship Lady Washington as a historical educator. He believes in the goal of experiential education and currently serves in Americorps VIP Community Partnership with Digital NEST.
Team
Jo Ann Allen
Board Member
Secretary to the Digital Nest, Jo Ann is also a member of the Youth Resource Bank Board of Directors; and Executive Director of Work4Youth. Under the leadership of Jo Ann, the SCCOE Student Support Services Department and the above two non-profits provide additional support to the Digital Nest operations, as well as sources of referral and resources.
Team
Michele A. Bassi
Board Member
Michele is the Vice President of Business Development for Lighthouse Bank. She spent the past 22 years with Wells Fargo Bank and has been actively involved in the community as President of the Santa Cruz County Fair Heritage Foundation, Founding Friend of Meals on Wheels, Co-Chair, Capitola/Aptos Rotary Member and much more.
Team
Karina Cervantez
Board Member
Karina Cervantez is the Mayor of Watsonville, serves on a county homeless task force, and is on the board of the Latino Caucus of the California League of Cities. She co-founded Watsonville Forward, and has served on the Criminal Justice Council and the City/County/School Governmental Relations Committee. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and is a doctoral candidate at UCSC.
Team
Rose Filicetti
Board Member
Rose Filicetti has 25 years of expertise as a serial social entrepreneur for a variety of nonprofits, focused on education, economic vitality, and public service. “Digital NEST is the perfect intersection of business, education, and the public sector working, together, to provide local youth with training and preparation for good paying jobs in our community!”
Team
Chris George
Board Member
Chris George is a local business owner and lifelong resident of Watsonville. “For too long, the employment and career opportunities for the majority of people in our region, and rural communities in general, have been limited to some type of manual labor. The youth of our region deserve more & Digital NEST will change this by leveling the playing field for access to technology.“
Team
Lee Hanna
Board Member
Partner in Charge, Watsonville, Hutchinson and Bloodgood LLP, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants
Team
Manu Koenig
Board Member
CoFounder and CEO of Civinomics, a public engagement platform that turns community ideas into reality. Manu is passionate about bringing lean startup principles of rapid prototyping and quick cycle time to the public sphere.
Team
Phil Martinelli
Board Member
Phil is a graduate of Santa Clara University. He is an Orchard Operations Analyst for S. Martinelli & Co., supporting the expansion of his family's local apple growing business. Phil says, "A technologically skilled workforce -as envisioned and supported by Digital NEST- is critical to the prosperity of agriculture and the Pajaro Valley. "
Team
Francisco Rojas
Board Member
Francisco is the CEO of Bees2biz and VP of Sales & Marketing Global. His perspective of technology adoption has impacted several companies in different countries. He is an advocate of providing the youth not only the technical skills but the vision of how to unleash the potential inside each individual to be more competitive nowadays. “Because technology adoption goes beyond software.”
Team
Gerardo "Dr.G" Sandoval
Board Member
Originally from East Los Angeles, Gerardo has been involved in Human Services from a young age. He volunteered at USC Medical Center and was a Peer Counselor for Planned Parenthood. In 1989, the County of Los Angeles honored him as “Volunteer of the Year.” He also sits on the Board of Volunteer Center and is Co-director of Community Connection.
Team
Brett Sigur
Board Member
Brett has been a Senior Marketing Manager at West Marine, Inc. since 2010 and previously worked with NHS, Inc. for 15 years. Skilled, employable local talent is something that all area businesses can rally around. “Digital NEST is where technology, agriculture and local business meet employment, entrepreneurial and economic opportunity.”
Team
Martine Watkins
Board Member
Community Organizer, Student Support Services Santa Cruz County Office of Education; Regional Career Pathways Director, Santa Cruz County College Commitment (S4C)
Team
Advisory Board
Jess Brown, Hilary Bryant, Bud Colligan, Zach Friend, Mary Lou Goeke, Danny Keith, Kymberly Lacrosse, Courtney Leibrock, Erica Manfre, Brett McFadden, Ralph Miljanich, Donna Murphy, Chris Neklason, Jeremy Neuner, George Ow, Jr., Margaret Rosas, Kirsti Scott, Matthew Swinnerton, David Terrazas

Are you interested in launching a Digital NEST in your community?

Contact us

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message