A Pivotal Moment at the NCWIT Summit

I presented alongside our CEO, Jacob Martinez, at the 2024 NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) Summit in Kansas City this May. Our session, “Beyond Tech Skills: Supporting First-Generation Professionals as They Navigate Their Careers,” provided a platform to share a message at the heart of our work: cultivating professional and career skills in young professionals is as essential as developing technical skills.

At Digital NEST, we work to empower underserved youth from small, diverse cities on the edges of both agricultural land and thriving tech and business centers in Central California by equipping them with the skills, resources, and networks they need to succeed. Our participation at the annual NCWIT summit was an invaluable opportunity to highlight the importance of holistic support in creating a diverse and inclusive tech workforce and to connect and collaborate with other change leaders in technical education.

The Importance of Holistic Support

We emphasized that while technical proficiency is critical, it’s not enough. Young professionals must also develop career navigation skills and professional skills such as self-awareness, communication, and problem-solving. These skills empower them to effectively leverage their technical abilities and resources and build meaningful, sustainable careers.

Shared Recognition

One of the most powerful moments at the summit was the engagement and feedback we received. The discussions that followed our talk underscored a shared recognition of the complexities first-generation professionals face. It was a moment of community, a clear sign of a growing awareness of the need to support these individuals beyond the classroom and into their professional lives.

Renewed Sense of Purpose

We walked away from the NCWIT Summit with an affirmation of our approach, a renewed sense of purpose, and a clearer vision for the future. The connections we made and the conversations we had have opened up new opportunities for collaboration and innovation. We eagerly anticipate potential partnerships that will help us expand our impact and reach even more youth.

 Looking Ahead

We see a tremendous opportunity to continue growing our programs. The summit highlighted the importance of building a strong support network for our members. Creating these connections is crucial for many youth who need a built-in professional network. We are committed to expanding our mentorship programs and creating more pathways for members to transition into internships and career-path positions.

The 2024 NCWIT Summit was an important moment for us at Digital NEST. It reinforced the importance of our mission and opened doors to new possibilities. We are inspired and energized to continue our work, knowing that we are not alone in our commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable tech industry. Thank you for being part of this journey with us. Let’s build a brighter future together.