From an Unlikely CA Zipcode, A Digital Nest Emerges
Originally posted Podcast from No Such Thing
Jacob Martinez is a social entrepreneur, tech educator, keynote speaker and cutting-edge community collaborator. Martinez believes technology has the potential to break down socioeconomic barriers and unlock economic growth for youth and their communities. As the founder and executive director of Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology), Martinez turned a vision into reality by creating a modern, collaborative workspace for local youth to receive high-tech training.
The opening of the first Digital NEST in 2014 garnered national attention as a model for bridging the digital divide experienced by youth living in low-income, rural communities. Today the NEST continues to expand, with more than 1200 members at two regional centers; its main location in Watsonville, CA and since April 2017, a Digital NEST pilot in Salinas, CA.
Martinez’s inspiration for Digital NEST is built on more than a dozen years of experience and research in teaching tech as a way to overcome economic disparities and achieve equity for Latinos and girls. His early work focused on promoting careers in STEM for youth through an award winning after-school program teaching middle-school girls to create computer games. The program serves hundreds of students in 15 Santa Cruz County schools.
Check out the full podcast from No Such Thing here