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Getting laid off from a dream job is never fun, but Josue De Paz managed to take that negative experience and turn it into something enormously positive. Today, he is the cofounder and CEO of First Tech Fund, a 501(c)3 dedicated to closing the digital divide in NYC by providing technology support to underserved students. First Tech Fund provides free computers, free WiFi access, mentorship, and a curriculum that helps equip students with skills for twenty-first century careers.
De Paz grew up undocumented and in a single-parent household, and he wants to do what he can to give underserved students a much-needed helping hand. He launched the nonprofit in May 2020, when many students needed help more than ever, and is focused on making his nonprofit an even bigger success. His long-term goals include serving more than one thousand students over the next five years, hiring a full-time staff, and expanding First Tech Fund’s footprint to his native Los Angeles.