February, From the Branches
It’s been a busy month at the NEST. We’ve been getting out into the community and the community’s been calling out to us. Some members are utilizing the NEST to develop professional films, while others represented us at Hack UCSC.
And next month is even more ambitious–read on to see opportunities to get involved!
—The Digital NEST Team
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Making Friends @ Hack UCSC 2015
UCSC hosts an annual hackathon–an event where teams of programmers, designers and software developers are given 72 hours to build and present projects.This year, Digital NEST sent a team of our own. The members made some friends, built a website, and documented their experience in a short, fun film. Check it out their video here!
Orient and Communicate: January marked our first month of Member Orientations. We introduced members to Digital NEST’s resources, pathways, and project opportunities.Volunteer Lydia Snider then challenged members to evaluate how they communicate, and how to clearly express goals and deadlines–not easy to do!
Processing: Art by Programming
Over the month of January, led by volunteer Tom Bates, a team of members explored the programming language Processing.By the end of the month they built and tested their first game (shown above).
Meet a Member: Gabe Medina and the Documentary Manzana
As more members use the NEST, we’re introducing a newsletter interview to share each month how different members find value here.Meet Gabe, 23, a graduate from UCLA Film School and Watsonville local currently working on a documentary.”One of the main reasons why I’m using this space is because it’s really hard to come by anything for film makers in the Watsonville area…It’s hard. Libraries aren’t open on Sundays. But Jacob was really open to letting us use [Digital NEST] as a meeting place for the whole film crew, and it’s been awesome.
“Just being from the community as well, it’s great coming back to something like this being established. We didn’t have resources like this when I was in high school.”Medina’s film Manzana, which will premiere at the Watsonville Film Festival this March, seeks to address the question of how declining farm labor rates, education in Watsonville, and the future of robotics intertwine in agriculture in our community.
Community Activism and Empowerment: Tony Hill Award Honor Bestowed on Jacob MartinezOn January 29th, Executive Director Jacob Martinez received the Tony Hill award, during the 31st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Convocation.Melanie Stern, Hill’s widow said of Jacob: “He is addressing an unmet community need in Watsonville…He’s also partnered with so many different groups, which was another strong value for Tony.”The Digital NEST team is tremendously honored in this recognition. We look forward to continued community involvement in strengthening our future, together.
Looking Ahead:February we’re hosting a month-long series on web development skills, and offering website hosting for a year for any members who complete the course. It’s an essential skillset in the modern world and Digital NEST is here to unlock the doors for all local youth who want to learn.March is Career Thriving Skills month. We’re seeking volunteers to help facilitate workshops on resumes, interviewing, and productivity. If these are subjects you think you could make a difference in, email Volunteer Coordinator Justen Time for more info!May is the Human Race Event–stay in touch for more information in the coming weeks.
Thank you for reading this month’s newsletter. We’re glad you’re part of the NEST and we look forward to seeing you again soon!