Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Dastardly Cleverness in the Service of Good: Jacob Martinez, Digital NEST

(Source: Dastardly Cleverness)

July 23, 2019 — Watsonville, CA

Jacob Martinez: How Digital NEST Helps Youth Take Flight

When Jacob Martinez was a kid in school, his family moved from Los Angeles, California to Dallas, Texas. Real estate was a lot cheaper in Dallas, so they were able to move into a well-off neighborhood, where young people had support and opportunities like Jacob had never imagined.

That deeply disorienting experience stuck with Jacob as he grew up and made his way back to California. There he studied biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, before finding his calling in helping other minority youth get into STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The work was satisfying, but also frustrating — he wondered if he was having enough impact to make a difference. That frustration eventually led Jacob to create Digital NEST, an incubator for young tech talent in the farming towns of Watsonville and Salinas, south of Santa Cruz.

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