Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology) is rooted in the socio-economic struggle of a small California coastal town surrounded by a large agricultural region. Watsonville (pop. 51,881), shares the challenges of many poor and underserved communities across the United States: high rates of poverty and unemployment, a high number of high school dropouts and a low rate of college graduates.
Bridging the digital divide
Committed to bringing tech to underserved student populations, Digital NEST founder Jacob Martinez has always had an interest in improving the struggling economy in his community of Watsonville, where the working poor far outnumber the prosperous few. Jacob began envisioning ways to break down the barriers keeping local students from the technology they need and deserve, while fulfilling the unmet needs of Watsonville’s small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for a capable local workforce.
A safe, collaborative space for young people
Modeled after successful technology companies such as Google and Facebook, Digital NEST is a hip, cool, and colorful spot that inspires its members to be creative, innovative, and self-sufficient. This technology workforce development center strengthens our community by preparing young people to be technology leaders in Santa Cruz County and beyond.
Through training, peer collaboration and professional mentorship, youth are supported in mastering the technological skills they need to pursue higher education and careers in our globally connected world. Its members work with state-of-the-art technology in a safe and learning-focused environment.
A scalable vision
Digital NEST is working 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, teaching young people the technology skills needed to become competitive and self-sufficient in the digital future.
Digital NEST has sparked a nationwide dialogue among educators, policy-makers and the media as a model for conquering the digital divide in underserved communities throughout the U.S. We welcome your inquiries and ideas on growing and sharing the Digital NEST idea with other communities. Just complete the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.