August news from the NEST

August News from the NEST

Welcome back! Our first summer has been a big season, a wild ride of creativity, learning, and collaboration. We’ve achieved an enrolled membership of 400!

A huge thank you to all our volunteer educators, supportive first Web Development clients, and partner businesses and nonprofits this summer.

And this month we say goodbye to our Volunteer Coordinator from AmeriCorps, Justen Time, and welcome our new Coordinator, Ximena Lopez.

—The Digital NEST Team

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Volunteer Coordination TNG

Volunteer Coordination: The Next Generation

Justen here.

I’ve always written this newsletter as “we,” since that’s how I see Digital NEST. We’re a team that you’re part of–as a volunteer, a donor, a friend, staff, and/or most of all, a member, and we exist because of you. So it feels a bit odd to write in the first person now, but it’s important to me to thank you directly.

When I met Jacob last fall, we were working out of Second Street Cafe and Yazmin was volunteering by Skype from San Diego. The NEST was still an unfurnished, beige room.

Now we’ve been to the White House twice and have been featured in local and national news dozens of times. We’re providing access to tech resources, education, and paths to high-tech careers for hundreds of local kids (I say “kids,” many of whom are my age!) with nearly 200 committed volunteers.

It’s been an incredible year, and I’m proud of what we accomplished together. There are so many exciting developments ahead for Digital NEST.

This has been an educational year for me as well, and I’ll be looking to get more involved in the Santa Cruz tech scene in my future employment.

In September, we have a new Volunteer Coordinator from AmeriCorps coming onboard, Ximena Lopez (standing boldly with me in the picture above). A Watsonville native and UCSC graduate, we look forward to her enthusiasm and talent here at the NEST.

Lastly, I know I say it often, but I’d like to send a gigantic thank you to all of our volunteers. You’re the best and you made Digital NEST the supportive, innovative space it is now. You also made my job a joy–thank you.

—Justen Time

Programming and Coding

This month, two career software engineers (Padma Sanampudi and Tom Bates), and one young programmer, Puja, ran intensive institutes on programming—one in Java and one web-focused, in Javascript.

The first institute took a field trip to Dell at the end of their course. We’re excited to present these possibilities to local youth, and support their education in programming–for many of whom, this is their first exposure to the field.

Websites are live!

Here’s a list of the first round of Web Development clients whose sites, designed by NEST members, are up and running for the world to see.

You can see each of the four sites more in-depth, or visit our portfolio page to see other member projects.

If you or someone you know is looking to hire a trained NEST member team to build your first professional website, learn how Digital NEST can create your website.

Member’s Corner: Pablo
Pablo first heard about the NEST while attending a CASA training hosted here.

“It’s something new, like nothing I’d ever heard about. I thought, ‘oh, I’ve got to get on this. I’m 24…let me try this out.'”

Along with being a committed CASA volunteer, Pablo is an active member, and when asked about his NEST education he answers:

“My favorite has been Web Design. It’s awesome, and I never would have been capable of building a website before–or getting information on how to start, if it wasn’t for Digital NEST. Now I want to build my own.”

Pablo’s team developed the website for Yoli’s Adobo.

Derby Girls support Digital NEST

Our Santa Cruz Friends in July: The Derby Girls and The Nick Theater

Digital NEST thrives because of all the awesome support and input from our local community. We’d like to give a big thanks to the SC Derby Girls and the Nickelodeon Theater for supporting the NEST and our workshops. The Derby Girls featured us as their nonprofit in July, and the Nickelodeon granted free movie passes to our Podcasting Institute for film reviews. Friends of the NEST, thank you!

Call to Volunteer: Professional Youtubers?

Are you, or are you friends with, a professional Youtuber who wants to meet with our members this month and share about how to successfully build up a Youtube channel? Email our Volunteer Coordinator here to start the conversation!


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