“The Hidden Genius Project and its programs make significant
The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.
“I was expecting the program to be very basic, but after I joined and bonded
with my brothers, I realized it was something I wanted to do.”
– Kaelan Lovan, RICH4 Hidden Genius Alum
Our award-winning INTENSIVE IMMERSION PROGRAM is a holistic 15-month mentorship experience that provides computer science, software development, entrepreneurship, and leadership training for Black male youth in high school. Following an application, interview and acceptance into our program at any of our sites located in Oakland, Richmond, and Los Angeles, CA, students receive more than 800 hours of mentorship and training.
DOUBLING DOWN IN THE TOWN
Due to the incredible generosity and support The Hidden Genius Project received in 2020, we were able to increase our capacity in 2021 to serve more Black boys and young men in our founding city by adding a second concurrent cohort in Oakland — thus establishing Oakland Cohorts 9 Black and 9 Gold.
In addition, The Hidden Genius Project was recognized as a 2021 Inc. Best in Business Honoree for Youth Entrepreneurship. Click HERE to read how our Geniuses realize their true potential in our Intensive Immersion Program.
2021 WINNER OF BEST APP AWARD
During our 2021 End of Summer Celebration event, we highlighted Richard Kamau, OAK8 Hidden Genius Alum for “putting his foot into his app” and winning the Baba Eugene Lemon Award for the best technical app project in our program.
TOTAL # OF IMMERSION PROGRAM STUDENTS IN 2021
Across our Oakland, Richmond, and Los Angeles sites, including Hidden Genius Alumni
CATALYST PROGRAMS are free single- and multi-day introductory technical workshops and exposure opportunities, led by our Youth Educators, for middle and high school youth of color, including STEM festivals, Tech Slams, and our annual Brothers Code event.
COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP programming provides on-site, exposure-based technology workshops delivered by our Youth Educators for local youth throughout the greater Bay Area and Los Angeles.
DRIVEN BY YOUTH EDUCATORS
OUR YOUTH EDUCATORS are students that graduate from our Intensive Immersion Program, and are trained in partnership with East Oakland Youth Development Center, to support the next generation of Hidden Geniuses and serve as brand ambassadors and educators – delivering content to the greater community (school-age through senior citizens).
In 2021, 22 Hidden Genius Alumni have been trained and deployed as Youth Educators, leading to 87 in total, who then facilitate workshops for our Intensive Immersion, Catalyst, and Community Partnership Programs throughout the Bay Area and Los Angeles, CA.
TOTAL STUDENTS SERVED IN 2021
TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS SERVED SINCE 2012
Through December 31, 2021
MENTORSHIP HOURS IN 2021
TECHNOLOGY CREATION • ENTREPRENEURSHIP • LEADERSHIP
TOTAL MENTORSHIP HOURS SINCE 2012
STUDENT OUTCOMES SINCE 2012
STUDENT RETENTION RATE
For all Intensive
Immersion Program Geniuses
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE
Geniuses eligible to
graduate high school
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION MATRICULATION
Of age Geniuses that
have graduated high school
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT STORIES
HIDDEN GENIUS ALUM COLLEGE GRADUATE SPOTLIGHT
Isaiah Martin, Oakland Cohort 2 (OAK2) Hidden Genius Alum joined The Hidden Genius Project as a 13-year-old student entering 9th grade with zero experience in computer science, but attributes his interest in technology to our Intensive Immersion Program.
In 2017, Isaiah enrolled at Dartmouth College and continued to reveal his brilliance to the world, excelling inside and outside of the classroom by receiving high honors from his professors and participating in various technology internships at Opendoor, Oracle, and Uber. We’re honored to highlight Isaiah as he received his degree in Computer Science this month and is already working full-time as a Software Engineer at Microsoft.
OAKLAND MENTORING GROUP EXPANDS ITS REACH
The Hidden Genius Project launched the Alumni Venture Seed Fund in November 2020, a new 19-week continuation program for Hidden Genius Alumni who have entrepreneurial ambitions. This $150,000 program was designed to support the advancement of student alumni through the five phases of startup development.
Perry Irving, OAK3 Hidden Genius Alum, shares his experience in this program with KPIX5 News Reporter, Mary Lee. Irving is majoring in computer science at San Francisco State University. Through the Alumni Venture Seed Fund, Irving built a mobile app called Creation Skateboard to help skaters design and create their own customizable skateboards using a mobile device.
Click HERE to read stories from Hidden Genius Alumni who completed our Intensive Immersion Program.
COLLEGE ADVISING AND HIGHER EDUCATION
In 2021, The Hidden Genius Project continued to partner with Destination College Advising Corps (DCAC) at UC Berkeley and Beyond 12 to provide our Geniuses with an array of comprehensive post-secondary education and career services related to college success plans, financial aid, and frequent advising through virtual and hybrid workshops and events.
# OF OPPORTUNITIES CONNECTED
Includes scholarships, internships,
workshops, jobs, etc.
TOTAL STUDENTS SERVED
TOTAL STUDENT INTERACTIONS
# OF COLLEGE READINESS EVENTS HOSTED
# OF COLLEGE APPS SUBMITTED
# OF FAMILIES SERVED
TOTAL FAMILY INTERACTIONS
FINANCIAL AID APPS SUBMITTED
IMPACT FACT: The Hidden Genius Project’s model has been effective in connecting Black boys and young men with computer science and entrepreneurship pathways. Fewer than 20% of incoming Geniuses (Black boys in high school) in our Intensive Immersion Program have taken a computer science course before, but over 40% of our alumni go on to major or minor in Computer Science (or related fields), while an additional 14% go on to major or minor in Business (or related fields). This platform seeks to empower organizational partners to engage the young people they serve with the tools and methods that have helped yield our results to date.
“As the former College Adviser and now Alumni Coordinator, I have been able to work alongside our Geniuses and see the development and growth of their aspirations. Early and often, we expose our Geniuses to a variety of diverse opportunities that empower them to explore the different pathways available to them. From scholarships, internships, professional development workshops, college and career mentoring, our growing pipeline of support ensures our Geniuses know that “Once a Genius, always a Genius.”
POWERED BY COMMUNITY
Special thanks to all of our volunteers who supported The Hidden Genius Project both in-person and remotely.
NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS IN 2021
In the midst of changing times, the following local restaurants have generously stepped up to the plate to provide meals for our Geniuses. We encourage you to support these businesses as they continue to serve our communities.
A Girl Named Pinky • Bakesale Betty • Big Apple Cafe • Catered To You • Everett and Jones • Kinder’s • Ramano’s Macaroni Grill • Pinx Catering • Pizza Squared SF • Trap Kitchen • Wingstop • Zachary’s Pizza
Their support not only helped us by offsetting costs that can go back into our program, it also provided the fuel our Geniuses need to stay focused during our Intensive Immersion Program.
Total number of meals provided
FULL TIME STAFF MEMBERS
YOUTH EDUCATORS HIRED
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOURS
GENIUS FOUNDERS SHOWCASE
On April 22, 2021, we hosted our first-ever Genius Founders Showcase event, highlighting the young entrepreneurs in our inaugural Alumni Venture Seed Fund program. Throughout the event, our alumni entrepreneurs pitched their incredible business ventures and shared their unique experiences in this 19-week program.
“This has been a great experience for me…I have learned
HONORING OUR ANCESTORS
In June we launched a new online store featuring our Limited Release Juneteenth Collection
“My design highlights what The Hidden Genius Project is all about, an organization that
A NEW HOME FOR GENIUS
In mid-December, we announced the acquisition of our new headquarters in downtown Oakland, CA. The purchase of this 20,000 sq. ft., four-story building was made possible in part by generous donations led by the CesTRA Butner Family Foundation. This new building will serve as an anchor site to house additional grass-root Black-led community organizations.
GENIUS FELLOW EDUCATORS
This year we promoted two dynamic Hidden Genius Alumni Youth Educators
Special thanks to our generous community of donors, champions, and partners who collectively contributed to our growth and impact in 2021.
Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropy
ASCEND BLO: East Bay Community Foundation
Bank of America
CesTRA Butner Family Foundation
Charlie and Karen Couric Charitable Foundation
Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation
East Bay Community Foundation
Helzel Family Foundation
Jordan Moss – Catalyst Housing Group
Living on the Go Foundation
Moore Impact SJF Grant
Oakland Fund for Children and Youth
Patrick J McGovern Foundation
Salesforce Catalyst Fund
WarnerMedia – Blavatnik Family Social Justice Fund
David Sze and Kathleen Donohue
Delta Dental Foundation
Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
Epic Mega Grants
Golden State Warriors Community Foundation
Illinois No. 3 Foundation
McKinnon-Stachon Family Charitable Trust
NSF UCLA Grant
San Francisco Foundation
The Carol and James Collins Foundation
Blue Shield of California
JP Morgan Chase
MUFG Union Bank
Samuel and Angela Schillace
The California Wellness Foundation
The Concrete Rose Community Foundation
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
$10,000 – $14,999
Dream Team Inc.
Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation
Hope and Osborne Hardison
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Ted and Ashley Paff
The Bozzini Family Fund
The Futures Project
Williams Sonoma Foundation
Xilinx Black Xperience Employee Resource Group
$5,000 – $9,999
BDS Connected Solutions
Ernst & Young LLP.
Jason Hirshman Household
JF Maddox Foundation
One Digital Insurance, LLC
The Joseph and Mercedes McMicking Foundation
$2,500 – $4,999
Attles Center for Excellence
Deborah L Gould MD
FAM 1st Foundation
Ruth K. Nelson Revocable Trust
Thurman V White Jr.
$1,500 – $2,499
Arthur R Rangel
HopeLab Foundation, Inc.
Katherine R McDonald
The Perlmutter Family Foundation
Zachary and Rebecca Blume
$1,000 – $1,499
Althea R Tabon
Applied Material Corporation
Brian J Conner
Ervin Mathews Jr.
Iwamoto Chan Charitable Fund
Lawrence and Sherian Washington Family Foundation
Loop & Tie
Lurie and Vogelsong Charitable Fund
Michael & Adriane Armstrong
Sandra and Scott Baker
The Plumpjack Foundation
The University of Michigan
“Black youth across this country have the innate potential and ability to be extraordinary scholars, innovators, and entrepreneurs. What they need is grace, access, resources, and opportunities to support their genius.” – Denzel Russell, Communications Manager
As our opportunities to impact young lives continue to blossom,
so must grow the pool of resources we need to propel us forward.
HELP OUR GENIUSES CONTINUE TO SHINE
THEIR LIGHT BRIGHTER AND FARTHER