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Digital NEST in Watsonville cuts through digital divide

by Donna Jones
Santa Cruz Sentinel

[Editor’s note: Santa Cruz Tech Beat published a related feature article, Digital NEST plans to eliminate the digital divide, in April 2014.]

Nonprofit seeks to provide youth with space, skills to grow economy

Jacob Martinez has spent the past decade introducing Watsonville teens to technology through an after-school program.

Jacob Martinez founded nonprofit Digital NEST to give Watsonville youth a shot at the tech economy, offering a place to learn and work out ideas. (photo credit: Dan Coyro)

Jacob Martinez founded nonprofit Digital NEST to give Watsonville youth a shot at the tech economy, offering a place to learn and work out ideas. (photo credit: Dan Coyro)

He’s scaling up.

Martinez’s new vision is Digital NEST, a hip workspace where young people can come together to learn skills, innovate, and create their futures.

The 90-minute, once-a-week sessions he runs at Pajaro Valley school aren’t enough to allow young people to fully explore their potential, he said, especially in a disadvantaged community such as Watsonville where many have only limited access to technology at home.

“All these kids were motivated to get into tech, but they didn’t have access,” Martinez said. “I always thought to myself, ‘What would the outcome be like if they had the access?'”

Martinez thinks he knows: A technologically savvy, innovative community of workers and entrepreneurs to drive the economies of both ends of Santa Cruz County.

Continue reading complete article here: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/watsonville/ci_26142172/watsonville-project-cuts-through-digital-divide

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Sara Isenberg publishes Santa Cruz Tech Beat for the benefit of the extended business and technology community. When she is not volunteering her time for the tech scene, Sara makes her living by managing software projects, web strategy planning, and providing development team services (including account management, vendor management, strategic partner management, beta project management, referrals to qualified technical team members, and more). Please visit her website: Sara Isenberg Web Consulting & Project Management, or contact Sara by email if you have any project management, account management, or Development Team leadership or service needs.

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Plantronics
Women Who Cowork
Digital NEST
California State University, Monterey Bay
UC Santa Cruz
UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute
Jack Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz
Looker
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Poly
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