When Jacob Martinez founded Digital NEST in Watsonville, he expected the nonprofit to grow and succeed.
But he never anticipated the organization would earn accolades from the White House and support from major technology companies before the end of its first year. Friday, Facebook became a partner of the nonprofit when the tech giant donated 25 MacBook Pros.
“Digital NEST is one of the key organizations and key models around the U.S. to help expose students to technology,” Juan Salazar, associate manager of state policy and community outreach at Facebook, said to a room of community leaders.
The company connected with Digital NEST because of Salazar’s ties to the community. His first job was in Watsonville and after he left, he stayed friends with people in the community. In 2014, he saw Facebook posts about the nonprofit and its accomplishments, including two visits to the White House.
Salazar reached out to Martinez and asked what the organization needed. Martinez’s reply was simple: More laptops to accommodate growth.