Youth in Stockton will gain free access to technology and career development as early as 2023 at the Digital NEST’s first center in the Central Valley.

WATSONVILLE, CADigital NEST announced it will launch a new “NEST” with the Stockton community next year. This expansion into the Central Valley kicks off bold plans to scale to a total of nine communities in Northern California by the end of 2026. 

“We’re making history… I’ve been excited from the first time I set foot in Stockton seeing the brilliance that exists there; this is a special moment for us,” announced founder and CEO Jacob Martinez during the nonprofit’s 4th annual career development “NEST Flight” conference for youth.

Beginning with the first NEST in Watsonville in 2014, Digital NEST and its community of local partners have strived to connect youth to the skills, resources and professional networks that build their confidence and create new possibilities for their futures. Now the NEST and its supporters are eager to share the knowledge gained from scaling to new communities over the past five years. 

Digital NEST has centers in downtown Watsonville and Salinas, and is currently looking for a permanent location in Gilroy. The fourth Stockton NEST will be both its first location outside of the Monterey Bay region and the first in the San Joaquin Valley. 

“We’re fortunate to have garnered direct support over the years from our many incredible individual donors in the communities we serve,” said Chief Growth Officer Corinne Kappeler. Most recently, the organization received its second-largest gift to date from longtime donors Lane and Leticia Bess through their Bess Family Foundation to support its growth efforts with a contribution of $600,000 over 3 years. “It’s our hope and plan to secure not only the foundational funding to launch, but also to sustain NESTs in new communities,” said Kappeler. 

To aid in its expansion plans, the organization is participating in Bank of America’s Leader on Loan program in order to develop multi-year operating and capital budgets, as well as financial forecasting models. With senior-level executive Ann Thompson beginning her year-long, full time role as interim chief financial officer, Digital NEST will have the “financial and operational expertise to help us have sustainable growth for years to come,“ said Martinez. 

The approach to growth lies in the organization’s philosophy to build with the community, not for it. “Stockton will be no different,” says Kappeler. “After more than 2 years of conversations with local stakeholders across San Joaquin County, we look forward to complementing the amazing efforts to advance educational equity for youth already happening on the ground and learning from the passionate Stocktonians who have made it their mission.”

The organization will seek a permanent chief financial officer next year. In the meantime, Digital NEST continues to seek local talent to help meet the demand for more “NESTs” across Northern California. It expects to launch in Stockton in 2023. 

About Digital NEST

Since opening its doors in 2014, Digital NEST has supported hundreds of youth along the path to higher education and well-paying careers. NEST youth are finding good jobs, internships, and entrepreneurial opportunities in technology and tech-related fields because of the mentorship and training they experience at Digital NEST. To get involved, contact us at