Hidden Genius Alum Bryon Muccular is no stranger to deadlines. As a sophomore at Tuskegee University, he manages the women’s basketball team and serves as Athletic Communications Student Assistant, providing real-time commentary and producing game day broadcasts for the football, softball, baseball, and both men’s and women’s basketball teams. During any given game, with an eye on the clock, he’s keeping pace with the players as he provides the script for their every move. When the final buzzer goes off, he’s called upon to produce game footage for the athletic department’s online platforms, including their live streaming YouTube channel. And all of this while balancing the demands of a full course load.

Ask Bryon about his time spent participating in The Hidden Genius Project during his senior year at Salesian College Preparatory High School in Richmond and he’s quick to share a play-by-play about his own game-changing experience: “Within the program, every single skill that I thought I had was revamped. [The Hidden Genius Project staff] broke down learning before they taught us anything. They taught us how to learn so that we could learn effectively. [Now] two years out of the program I’m using everything—public speaking, entrepreneurship, everything.”

Yet, despite his natural ability to track and provide commentary on plays with split-second accuracy, he admits one of the biggest lessons he learned during the program happened because he didn’t manage his own time.

“Do I have to talk about that?” he says, when asked about the app he set out to create during the 15-month Intensive Immersion Program. “I never actually finished it.”

In the early days of The Hidden Genius Project, students in cohorts OAK1 and OAK2 were mentored by an entirely volunteer-run staff. This meant staff had less availability than they do now to provide holistic support for students beyond their dedicated office hours. As one of the only Geniuses to not complete the assignment, Bryon admits “We all had the same amount of time, so that’s not an excuse. I just underestimated the amount of work that needed to be done. When I was stuck on something, I didn’t ask for help.”

It was that experience that stuck with him. Having learned computer languages JavaScript, Python and HTML during his first few months in the program, he says he made the mistake of being overconfident when approaching the task at hand. “[When I started on the project] I had just placed second at a Hack-a-Thon for Game Design, so I’m going into it thinking I’m The Chips and The Dip.” But as his fellow Hidden Geniuses completed their own app designs before the 15-month clock ran out, he was nowhere near finished. “It really taught me a lot [about] time management and how important it was to ask for help. Sometimes, as a man, one needs to put aside his pride to ask for help. I had to learn the hard way.”

As valuable as he regards his time spent in the program, and subsequent opportunities including a position working as a Youth Educator last summer, he’s keeping watch on the future of The Hidden Genius Project and the growing network of Geniuses that will continue to expand over time. “It’s really endless. Knowing not everybody in the program is going to code for the rest of their lives, it’s good because [we’re] building a wide net that is spreading through different waves. If I need someone working on tech, I have someone. If they need someone in the broadcasting field, they can reach out to me. And if someone looks up to me as a mentor, I have much to teach them.”

Since 2012, more than 3,100 students have revealed their genius through our
Intensive Immersion and Catalyst Programs, and so many more are waiting to shine.


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