• Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology

The Digital NEST is a high-tech space located in the heart of Watsonville. Young people ages 12-24 will have access to computers, software, Wi-Fi, and other digital tools and classes. They will master skills necessary to thrive in the high tech, globally connected world in which we all live.

The Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology) is a 21st century, Technology Workforce Development Center located in downtown Watsonville. Digital NEST is creating entrepreneurship and community economic development by giving youth and young adults in Watsonville, CA marketable technology skills. The Digital NEST is modeled after successful technology companies that inspire creativity and innovation. It will provide its members with state-of-the-art technology in a safe space that gets them off the streets.

The long term goal of Digital NEST is to create sustainable and scalable technology centers in vulnerable communities all over California, creating economic equality for the residents of low income and rural communities by breaking down the “Digital Divide,” teaching them the technology skills needed to become competitive and self-sufficient in the digital future.

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.

  • The Digital NEST is going to revolutionize the way we educate and prepare our youth for the workforce.
    Jacob Martinez, Founder

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Please Support the Digital NEST
Please support the Digital NEST, where young people can walk in the door and enter the world of technology. There are three levels of...
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...
Digital NEST article in Santa Cruz Sentinel
We have been garnering increasing support over the past few months, and the recent front page story about Digital NEST in The Santa Cruz...
About Digital NEST
The Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology) is a high-tech space located in the heart of Watsonville. Young people ages 12-24 will have...
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Jacob Martinez
Founder, Executive Director
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.
JoAnn Allen
Board Member
Manager, Student Support Services, Santa Cruz County Office of Education
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.
Karina Cervantez
Board Member
Mayor, City of Watsonville
Rose Filicetti
Board Member
Rose Filicetti has 25 years of expertise as a serial social entrepreneur for a variety of nonprofits, including ten years on the Mountain View elementary school board and fifteen years as the Executive Director of the Santa Clara County School Boards Associations (a position she still holds).
Chris George
Board Member
Lee Hanna
Board Member
Partner in Charge, Watsonville, Hutchinson and Bloodgood LLP, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants
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.
Erica Manfre
Board Member
Sales and Marketing Manager, Coast Pro
Phil Martinelli
Board Member
Francisco Rojas
Board Member
VP of Operations, Sales & Marketing Global
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.
Brett Sigur
Board Member
Senior Marketing Manager at West Marine
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)
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