Episode 23: Jacob Martinez dishes on building the Digital NEST

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There’s no question we’re living in a brave new world – our society (and every society!) is changing rapidly.  In today’s world, we need a whole new set of skills to excel, even just to get by!  The use of technology has crept into virtually every aspect of our lives.  Those who master these new and emerging technologies have a considerable advantage versus those who don’t.

At the same time, there’s a huge digital divide in our country.  While many people have access to the latest hardware, software, education, and high speed Internet access, many do not.  One chilly October evening in Watsonville, Jacob Martinez saw a teenager huddled outside a building in Watsonville, using a laptop and the building’s free WiFi which trickled out past the doors to complete a school homework assignment.  Jacob asked the girl why she she was doing, and she explained that she had no Internet access at home, and needed to hop on the free WiFi network from the building to complete her assignment.

With that, the idea for the Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology) was born.  Jacob Martinez had long recognized the disparity in access to I.T. resources  in his community as a huge issue, but meeting that teenager huddled in the building doorway on that nippy autumn evening galvanized him into action.  Soon, he soon went to work building his vision for a hip, cool, and colorful spot that encourages and guides its young members to become technology leaders in their community.

Today, only a few short years into the mission, the Digital NEST serves over 1,400 youth in its two locations in Watsonville and Salinas, California.  It’s an inspiring and amazing story about building a successful, innovative non-profit which is already successfully transforming lives in the communities it serves.

Digital NEST – web site

Digital NEST – on Twitter

Digital NEST – on Facebook

Jacob Martinez – LinkedIn

Jacob Martinez – on Twitter