The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.
The Hidden Genius Project, a national nonprofit organization, was founded in Oakland in 2012 by five Black male entrepreneurs/technologists who were unnerved by the dramatic juxtaposition between the high unemployment of Black male youth and the plethora of career opportunities within the local technology sector. To address this challenge, the founders established a program to connect young Black males with the skills, mentors, and experiences that they need to become high-performing entrepreneurs and technologists in a 21st century, global economy.
Alicia has over 20 years of work experience in nonprofit and for-profit companies and a non-traditional path of education rooted in the Executive level program for Human Resource Management at Cal State East Bay. She also holds certifications with the Society for Human Resources (SHRM) as a Certified Professional (CP), and a Workplace Inclusivity Specialist. She is also a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) with the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). Alicia is an active board member with the Stanford Community Advisory Board and her local high school's athletic booster club.
Ultimately, Mounir is passionate about empowering resource deficient communities affected by systemic inequities, to gain confidence and skills toward improving their mental and physical wellness and overall financial status. He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, The University of Cincinnati, and California State, East Bay earning a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Social Work.
Prof. Tourè has taught courses at UC Berkeley and has vast experience working with young Black males throughout the East Bay including; Emery middle school, King Estate middle school among others.
Eugene was the founding president of the local CSTA Golden Gate Chapter and a member of the CSTA’s Advocacy Leadership Team. Eugene was also a member of the Level Playing Field Institute’s "Broadening Participation in Computing Advisory" committee providing feedback on the development, implementation and evaluation of the BPC project.
RICHMOND, CA SITE
As an equity-fluent leader and service-learning practitioner, Janay has devoted her career to supporting the professional and personal development of Black students, leaders, and kin. Her professional praxis is rooted in the community cultural wealth model where she supports her community in recognizing and leveraging their lived experiences and ancestral wisdom as strengths and tools for collective transformation.
In her spare time, Janay serves her community as a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., enjoys spending time with family and friends, dining at local eateries, and exploring new hiking trails at East Bay regional parks.
Now, Devon supports The Hidden Genius Project as a Genius Fellow Educator in Richmond by mentoring the next generation of Geniuses in our Intensive Immersion Program. He also participates in the newly created Genius Studios, developing digital games with a team made entirely of Hidden Genius Alumni. Devon is currently pursuing his Bachelor's Degree in Games and Playable Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His ultimate goal is to have a career in the technology field and launch his own gaming studio in the Bay Area. Devon's other passions include fitness, cooking, and self-care.
LOS ANGELES SITE
With over 15 years of experience as a video communication and collaboration specialist, his career has been marked by significant achievements, such as serving as a Senior Video Collaboration Engineer at Facebook and maintaining the world's most extensive video conferencing infrastructure, to helping Snapchat grow from a startup to a major platform and company. These positions granted him access to cutting-edge technology and trend-setting ideas, which he used to transform La Create Space into an innovative tech space.
Terell's innovative mindset and technical knowledge have earned him recognition as a critical figure in the Inglewood area. He has been instrumental in filling a crucial gap for creatives and tech enthusiasts who need access to resources and a collaborative environment. His ventures have significantly impacted the Black community, providing them with a platform to create, collaborate, and learn.
A product of the Imperial Courts Housing Projects in Watts, Terell's journey has inspired his community and his mission to democratize access to creative and technological resources. He is also a former athlete at San Jose State University, graduating with a degree in Radio, Television, and Film. The proximity to Silicon Valley during his college years exposed him to the potential of technology, leading him to harness it as a tool for community building.
His work aligns seamlessly with the mission of The Hidden Genius Project to train and mentor Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.
Terell brings a track record, a forward-thinking approach, and a deep understanding of the intersection between technology, community, and creativity.
Terell offers a wealth of knowledge, an expansive network, and a shared passion for using technology to foster innovation, inclusivity, and change. Terell Johnson is an innovator, leader, and catalyst for future growth and community empowerment.
As the Los Angeles Support Services Manager, Sherida’s commitment is the betterment of all youth and their families through empowerment and an asset-based approach. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, visiting local museums, and time with family and friends.
A member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, William has received numerous awards and recognitions for his community involvement. He was awarded a 2010 Detroit Chamber of Commerce Fusion Award, a 2010 Vanguard Award, a 2012 Molina Community Champions Award, a 2013 Black Male Engagement Award, a 2016 Spirit of Detroit Award, and a 2019 Michigan Chronicle Man of Excellence Award.
William also hosts, The William Malcolm Morning Show (92.7 WLQV Detroit-Market); the goal of the weekly show is to inspire, uplift, and motivate listeners to become dreamers in action.
Outside of Miracle’s professional endeavors, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and being the best mom ever.
Nadia is very passionate about living in a peaceful and just society. While in college she led a successful effort to bring NPHC and MGC Greek plots to her campus. Nadia is also very involved in giving back to her community and often volunteers with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Wayne State University with the goal of one day being able to put policies in place to make her community and world a better place.
As a former Metro-Atlanta Teach For America Educator, She discovered a gap in the education system - a desperate need for formal business & leadership development. Since her time as an educator, she has worked with various institutions and organizations providing entrepreneurial education and leadership development to women and youth across the globe as a way to drive economic mobility within black communities.
She consults nationally and internationally with SMEs, Corporate bodies, NGOs and Governmental agencies providing fresh ideas and strategic guidance to ensure organizations obtain their desired outcomes. Her unique perspectives and strategies ultimately help organizations, refocus, re-center, and resume with increased efficiency.
In addition to her business and leadership acumen, Nancy is a Global Speaker and uses her voice to drive transformation across communities and organizations. Her versatile speaking profile enables her to empower women, youth, and business leaders across the globe. Whether she is delivering high-quality training or serving as an empowerment keynote speaker, Nancy’s ultimate goal is to leave an indelible impact on her audiences.
Nancy, now serves as the Founding Atlanta Site Director for The Hidden Genius Project. She is excited and feels privileged to have the opportunity to be back in a space that enables her to anchor her efforts in social impact work that directly impacts Black Male youth.
After completing the program, Perry continued to support The Hidden Genius Project as a Youth Educator for five years, leading technical workshops to young people and adults throughout the Bay Area, including national and international Catalyst Programs. He also participated in our inaugural Alumni Venture Seed Fund program in 2020. In his spare time, Perry enjoys skateboarding and creating content videos.
Shyanne spent four years traveling throughout the Middle East and South East Asia working as an educator and studying various wellness practices such as healing through self-expression. Later she built a brand around art and wellness called Happy Vibes Brand to support the communities that she worked in. Today Shyanne develops programs, initiatives, and curriculums centered around wellness, communication, and DEI and is the Support Services Manager at The Hidden Genius Project.
Now, fully prepared for the next step in her professional journey,Alia eagerly assumes the role of a Support Service Intern. Her unwavering passion revolves around providing essential assistance to Black families within her community. In alignment with this profound ambition, Alia is both enthusiastic and privileged to contribute her efforts at The Hidden Genius Project, where she is primed to make a meaningful and transformative impact.
Guided by a passionate dedication to transforming lives, Deandre works hard to equip young minds with the skills they need to shape a brighter future for themselves and their communities. Through the Hidden Genius Project, he combines his expertise in computer science with a genuine passion for mentorship, fostering a strong sense of purpose and determination in the hearts of the next generation.
As Chicago’s Support Services Manager, Candace seeks to create spaces that are inviting, nurturing and affirming for Geniuses and their families. By honoring each Geniuses’ inherent talents and gifts, Candace hopes they leave The Hidden Genius Project confident in their ability to lead and transform their communities. Her passion for working with Black youth was ignited while teaching entrepreneurship in the cities of Sekondi and Takoradi, Ghana as an undergraduate student at Babson College. This experience helped her to realize the importance of imparting invaluable skills in business creation and ownership on our Black young people in the States.
When not working with Geniuses, Candace enjoys spending time with her husband and 2-year old son, Kenzo. She enjoys moments of solitude by Lake Michigan, shopping for new candles, and exploring the many donut shops the city has to offer. She is a proud Posse New York alumnae and Surge Institute 2023 fellow.
Embracing a passion for technology from a young age, Yusuf Seward embarked on his coding journey at the age of 12. This fascination soon evolved into a compelling path that led him to participate in national and international robotics competitions by age 13. As the lead programmer, he played an instrumental role in strategizing, designing, and programming competitive robots.
Amidst his early technological explorations, he discovered a knack for drone racing. By 15, he had achieved the honor of being ranked as the 2nd best drone racer in Illinois, a testament to his technical acumen and penchant for innovation. This culminated in my crowning as an esports drone racing champion, combining my love for technology, sports, and competition.
In parallel to his hands-on exploits, he has also been engrossing himself in the study of Machine Learning. Yusuf aims to augment his comprehensive understanding of programming and harness AI's power to create innovative, impactful solutions.
As a Full-Stack Developer, he carries a holistic approach to problem-solving, engaging both ends of the technology spectrum. His journey has taught him the interconnectedness of all technological aspects, and he's able to integrate this understanding into creating robust, efficient systems.
Always eager to learn and improve, Yusuf is excited to embrace future challenges and contribute to giving back to the community as an Innovation Educator for the Hidden Genius Project.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
RON BROWN SCHOLAR PROGRAM SALON SERIES
Hear about the humble beginnings and early vision of The Hidden Genius Project by watching the Ron Brown Scholar Program’s Salon Series featuring our inspirational Founding Executive Director, Brandon Nicholson (2001), and our two dynamic and fearless Co-Founders, Jason Young (2000) and Tracy “Ty” Moore II (2002).