This year The Hidden Genius Project proudly celebrates its 10th Anniversary — #10YearsOfGenius — highlighting a remarkable decade of revealing over 400 Black male entrepreneurs, changemakers, and technologists through our flagship Intensive Immersion Program, while exposing nearly 8,000 youth of color to inspiring career pathways and skills within our Catalyst and Community Partnership Programs.
We’ll be engaged in many upcoming activities and events this year to celebrate all of the communities and partnerships that have gone into making The Hidden Genius Project a catalyst for change for these past ten years…and to ensure our success will continue to grow and evolve.
We encourage you to visit this page often as we add stories, upcoming info about celebrations, and special opportunities to reaffirm your relationship with The Hidden Genius Project.
A Letter From Our Founding Executive Director
As we have the great honor of reaching The Hidden Genius Project’s 10 Anniversary, it is difficult not to get nostalgic and reflect on the journey marked by the various twists and turns that thrust us to this point.
In the early months of 2012, five Black men pursuing myriad professional and entrepreneurial goals arrived at a sobering conclusion: that a better future was within reach for our communities, and a dramatic transformation in access to opportunities for our Black male youth would be the catalyst. What’s more, they realized that such a transformation would not manifest by waiting on others to act. With that resolute awareness, Jason Young, Tracy ‘Ty’ Moore II, Kilimanjaro Robbs, Kurt Collins, and Isaak Hayes made a solemn commitment to embark upon the ultimate multi-tasking endeavor: they would seek to inspire, equip, and empower Black male youth by delivering the most intensive technology and entrepreneurship programming one could find for this population—all while maintaining full-time work and building their own businesses. Thus was born The Hidden Genius Project.
As the founding coalition set out to recruit and develop its first cohort, they immediately established that a much larger village would be necessary to pull it off. They brought in hosts of community champions, volunteers, and advocates—including myself—to lend whatever time, talent, and treasure they could to ensure the best possible experience for what would become our first five Hidden Geniuses. To provide the level of support these young people deserved, it was going to take an entire ecosystem, and we worked tirelessly to collaborate and leverage whatever resources we could. Ten years later, we have never turned back, and our village has only gotten more expansive and dynamic, propelling us to serve more than 8,000 young people within our Immersion, Catalyst, and Community Partner Programs across 3 different continents.
Most of all, we will continue to invest and believe in the limitless potential of our Black boys and young men, as they persist, persevere, and prevail in revealing their genius and transforming their lives and communities. Our young people possess all the brilliance they need within them, and we are committed to ensuring they have the resources and networks to fully activate it.
In 2012, it was a courageous, mission-driven corps of caring adults who set The Hidden Genius Project in motion; in 2022, it is our Hidden Genius Alumni who are driving our momentum and expanding our capacity: we now have two Alumni serving as full-time educators, and dozens more working part-time to facilitate our entire array of programs for young people across a wide spectrum of backgrounds.
To all those who have supported us to get to this point, we say thank you, and please stick with us. We have much farther to go. Let’s enjoy this 10th Anniversary—in the midst of these times, we deserve to celebrate.
Brandon Nicholson, Ph.D. Founding Executive Director The Hidden Genius Project
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