LETTER FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
“With ample access, our young people regularly realize their potential to pursue meaningful and exciting pathways and subsequently create future opportunities not only for themselves but also their entire community.”
– Dr. Brandon Nicholson, Chief Executive Officer
Dear Champion of The Hidden Genius Project,
For the first time in four years, I am writing this letter from the friendly confines of The Hidden Genius Project offices. In writing that sentence, I admittedly have re-read it several times, as it is surreal to imagine that our team navigated an emotional rollercoaster of experiences, challenges, joy, and victory in the midst of a life-altering global pandemic. As we reflect on our 2022 work, we spent the first five months in a virtual format for programming, and most of our operations. Thus, when we leaped back into in-person programming in June, it often felt like getting back on a bike…riding uphill…with just a single gear and rusty chains. Nevertheless, we persevered and made 2022 an historic year, and a joyful marker of our organization’s 10th anniversary.
As we resumed in-person programming we did so with some historic new wrinkles: we hosted four simultaneous Oakland cohorts for the first time ever, and introduced our first-ever site in Detroit. Still, far more important than the new-ness of it all is the fact that we were able to reach more young people in more places than ever before, and that our Hidden Geniuses continue to thrive and demonstrate their ingenuity on a regular basis. There was no more powerful demonstration of this phenomenon than the three End of Summer Celebrations we held across our markets, as our young men proudly shared their work and experiences, all while supporting each other as brothers.
INTENSIVE IMMERSION PROGRAM
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.
EXPANSION TO DETROIT, MICHIGAN
In 2022, The Hidden Genius Project announced its plans for continued growth and impact (according to our five-year Strategic Plan) by expanding the Intensive Immersion Program beyond California to Detroit, Michigan thanks to the generosity of the NBA Foundation and Comcast NBC Universal.
Led by Detroit Site Director, William Malcolm, The Hidden Genius Project launched its inaugural Detroit cohort (DET1) in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan.“And then when I heard that they had selected William to run it, with his credibility in the space of Black male mentoring, you knew you had the right person to launch this program in Detroit because passion drives everything, and William is passionate about mentoring these young brothers.”– Shawn Wilson, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan
RETURN TO RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA
In June 2022, RYSE Youth Center welcomed The Hidden Genius Project’s Richmond Site and Geniuses back to its brand new youth development campus, RYSE Commons in Richmond, CA.
“We are humbled and honored to continue to grow and deepen our partnership with The Hidden Genius Project…[they] consistently demonstrate a powerful commitment to building youth power, youth creativity, and youth leadership.”
-Kimberly Aceves-Iñiguez, Executive Director of RYSE
“The Hidden Genius Project really changed my life and allowed me to delve into places I never thought I wanted to go into.”
– Yaphet Yonas, RICH5 Hidden Genius Alum and Baba Lemon Award Winner (Bay Area)
INAUGURAL END OF SUMMER CELEBRATIONS
After operating remotely for 2+ years, The Hidden Genius Project returned to in-person activations in June 2022 to kick off summer programming in Oakland, Richmond, CA, Los Angeles, and Detroit. Later that year, The Hidden Genius Project announced plans to host three End of Summer Celebrations to highlight our Geniuses and their accomplishments.
From September to October 2022, we hosted three End of Summer Celebrations with the first event being held in the Bay Area, CA (on September 22) to honor our Oakland and Richmond cohorts (OAK9 Black, OAK9 Gold, OAK10 Black, OAK10 Gold, RICH5, and RICH6), then in Inglewood, CA (September 27) to shine a light on our Los Angeles cohorts (LA1, LA2, and LA3), and finally in Detroit, MI (October 8) to celebrate our inaugural Detroit (DET1) cohort. The energy was abundant at all our 2022 End of Summer Celebration events as our community of friends, family, partners, and sponsors celebrated our Geniuses hard work and achievements.
On September 27, 150 guests convened in the heart of Inglewood at The Proud Bird Events Center to celebrate our Los Angeles Geniuses. This was their first in-person End of Summer Celebration event since our expansion to Los Angeles in 2020.
MENTORSHIP HOURS IN 2022
TOTAL MENTORSHIP HOURS SINCE 2012
TOTAL # OF IMMERSION PROGRAM STUDENTS IN 2022
Across our Oakland, Richmond, Los Angeles, and Detroit sites
Click HERE to read countless stories of Hidden Genius Alumni who have completed our Intensive Immersion Program.
COLLEGE ADVISING AND HIGHER EDUCATION
The Hidden Genius Project has continued to strengthen its partnership with Beyond 12 and Destination College Advising Corps (DCAC) at UC Berkeley to ensure that every single Genius receives a wide range of comprehensive, high-quality post-secondary education and career services.
In April 2022, our Alumni Engagement Team internally launched Hidden Genius Connect, a national platform designed to serve as a centralized hub where Hidden Genius Alumni can network, collaborate, and access valuable resources to further their personal and professional growth. Through The Hidden Genius Project’s investment in Hidden Genius Connect, our alumni will be able to cultivate an even richer community rooted in lifelong learning, mentorship, and workforce opportunities across all of our programming sites. We are excited to see Hidden Genius Connect help support our young people’s aspirations long after they complete our Intensive Immersion Program for years to come.
TOTAL STUDENTS SERVED
TOTAL STUDENT INTERACTIONS
# OF COLLEGE READINESS EVENTS HOSTED
# OF COLLEGE APPS SUBMITTED
# OF FAMILIES SERVED
TOTAL FAMILY INTERACTIONS
Since 2017, The Hidden Genius Project continues to celebrate its 100% high school graduation rate of young Black men from their Intensive Immersion Program. In 2022, 43 Geniuses graduated high school and walked across that distinguished stage.
SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED TO GENIUSES
Amount of scholarships secured for post-secondary education
Through December 31, 2022
STUDENT OUTCOMES SINCE 2012
STUDENT RETENTION RATE
For all Intensive
Immersion Program Geniuses
Geniuses eligible to
graduate high school
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION MATRICULATION
Of age Geniuses that
have graduated high school
MAJOR OR MINOR IN COMPUTER SCIENCES
Geniuses select as primary field of study
(14% go on to major or minor in business)
BUILDING A FUTURE OF UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES
In early 2022, Comcast NBCUniversal offered James Green (Oakland Cohort 4 Hidden Genius Alum and Co-Founder of FixMyKix) an opportunity of a lifetime to share his story and business venture on a national stage as part of their Project UP initiative to advance digital equity.
Watch the clip on your right and get to know James Green, a sneakerhead and entrepreneur who wants to use his platform FixMyKix to move towards a more equitable and sustainable future. Through Project UP, Comcast is working with partners like The Hidden Genius Project to help empower the next generation of entrepreneurs.
“Comcast is proud to deepen our commitment to help empower these Geniuses and future leaders to pave the way to even greater innovation and equity within the tech sector and beyond.”
– Dalila Wilson-Scott, EVP & Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast,
President of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation
PREPARING OUR FUTURE WORKFORCE
In May 2022, Intel amplified the partnership between Autodesk and The Hidden Genius Project at their #IntelON conference. During this hybrid virtual event that was attended by over 4.6 million people online, Intel donated 55 Intel-powered devices, two annual internships, and an AI Youth Program collaboration to The Hidden Genius Project.
Play the video on your right to learn how we’re preparing our future workforce of Black male leaders, technologists, and changemakers.
VENTURING TO GOOGLE: ALUMNI NETWORK OPPORTUNITIES
On a bright and sunny day in the Bay Area, a group of our ambitious Geniuses from our Alumni Venture Seed Fund program had the incredible opportunity to share their latest business ventures and innovations with the CEO of Google and Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, and other notable executives at the Google campus. Special thanks to Google.org for inspiring our young people.
Later that year, The Hidden Genius Project received a $3 million Google.org grant to expand our program to two additional cities and reveal hundreds of more Geniuses.
We were delighted to have Alumni from @HiddenGeniusPro, a #GoogleOrg grantee, visit our Mountain View Campus and meet with @Google leaders like @sundarpichai yesterday! The future is in good hands with this next generation of tech execs and entrepreneurs. pic.twitter.com/sJWOqm6z9Y— Google.org (@Googleorg) June 30, 2022
TOTAL # OF ALUMNI SERVED
Alumni who received support via coaching, workforce opportunities, and college advising
“As the Manager of Alumni Engagement, I have had the privilege of collaborating with the new Alumni Engagement team, collectively working towards the development and expansion of our alumni community. Our recently launched alumni engagement platform, Hidden Genius Connect, has significantly enhanced our ability to provide an array of diverse opportunities to our esteemed Geniuses. Through scholarships, internships, professional development workshops, college and career mentoring, and beyond, our ever-growing support network ensures that Geniuses are empowered to explore the multitude of pathways available to them. We firmly believe in the adage ‘Once a Genius, Always a Genius,’ signifying our unwavering commitment to nurturing the lifelong bond we share with our alumni community.”
Arnold Lopez, M.Ed., MBA
Manager of Alumni Engagement
CATALYST PROGRAMS are free single- and multi-day introductory technical exposure opportunities driven by our Youth Educators for middle and high school youth of color.
Click HERE to watch highlights from our first Brothers Code catalyst event in partnership with Code313 in Detroit.
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.
Click HERE to learn how our Youth Educators supported Compton Girls Club youth with the creation of their digital magazine.
On October 17, 2022, Smartsheet announced to the world that they would replace their coveted spot on the McLaren Formula 1 race cars at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas to The Hidden Genius Project, their new Sponsor X.
Check out this article by Marcus Thompson II in The Athletic to learn more about the opportunity and impact of Sponsor X.
TECH SLAM FORMULA ONE
Prior to race weekend, The Hidden Genius Project and Tech Slam partner TEAM, Inc., joined forces with Smartsheet and McLaren to host the worlds-first technology, sports, and racing catalyst event on October 19, 2022 in Downtown Austin.
During this catalyst program, we exposed young people of color from East Austin to hands-on, interactive technology workshops at the intersection of racing, sports, and technology led by our student alumni and partners at Splunk, Sphero, Google.org, E-4 Youth, and Salesforce. Youth participants also had the unique opportunity to visit the track, garages, and paddocks at Circuit of the Americas.
In addition to the exciting activities, special guests Andrew Bennett, Chief Marketing Officer at Smartsheet, Natasha Harper-Madison, District 1 Council Member of Austin, Vanessa Fuentes, District 2 Council Member of Austin, and leading technology experts at McLaren Racing, shared their inspiring career pathways, including F1 superstar Lando Norris!
TOTAL STUDENTS SERVED IN 2022
TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS SERVED SINCE 2012
Through December 31, 2022
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 2022
Click HERE to learn how Splunk and its Employee Resource Groups went above and beyond to help support our mission.
Over the years, the following restaurants and catering businesses have generously stepped up to the plate to provide meals for our Geniuses. We encourage you to show these businesses some love and support them as they continue to serve our communities.
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 and Catalyst Programs.
Total number of meals provided
FULL TIME STAFF MEMBERS
YOUTH EDUCATORS HIRED
GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION
On December 2, we hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the doors of our new Headquarters and offices alongside our Community Partners—Oakland Natives Give Back, TEAM, Inc., and RepresentEd Leadership—at 1441 Franklin Street in Oakland. With a host of champions and supporters in attendance, we toured our new workspaces and unveiled the Ubuntu Center launched in partnership with Best Buy, Salesforce, and The Clubhouse Network.
COMPTON GIRLS CLUB
In partnership with Compton Girls Club, our Youth Educators hosted an eight-week workshop series designed to equip girls and non-binary youth with the skills to create their own digital magazine. Click the button below to see how their journalism, web development, and design thinking skills came together in this beautiful magazine.
UPLIFTING JUSTICE-INVOLVED YOUTH: SOLANO COUNTY JUVENILE HALL
“One of the students was released, however, he decided to stay in another whole day just so he could participate in our workshop again. I was amazed by this as it showed me the true positive impact we were having on our youth.”
As part of our Community Partnership Programs, the Solano County Probation Department’s Juvenile Facility partnered with The Hidden Genius Project to provide a 10-week virtual programming series for their young people. To support their department initiatives that embrace positive youth development, engagement, and critical skill-building, our dynamic Youth Educators led a series of culturally-relevant workshops that helped 10 young men learn how to code, and build their own websites.
ALUMNI VENTURE SEED FUND: GENIUS FOUNDERS SHOWCASE 2022
“I’ve been given access to experienced mentors that care about my success as an entrepreneur.”
For the second consecutive year, an ambitious group of five Hidden Genius Alumni participated in our rigorous Alumni Venture Seed Fund program. Throughout this 19-week experience from November 2021 to April 2022, our young entrepreneurs learned about the five phases of startup development to advance their entrepreneurial ambitions. At the end of the program, our Geniuses presented their business ventures at our 2nd Annual Genius Founders Showcase event.
Special thanks to our 2021-2022 sponsors for helping to make our Alumni Venture Seed Fund possible.
THE NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION #CUBE22 CONFERENCE
During National Computer Science Education Week, our Alumni Engagement Team represented The Hidden Genius Project at The National School Boards Association #CUBE22 Conference in Miami, Florida. In a room packed with attendees, our team hosted an insightful session sharing the impact of our mission over the past decade.
Special thanks to our generous community of donors, champions, and partners who collectively contributed to our growth and impact in 2022.
Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropies, advised by Adam Karr
The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation
CesTRA Butner Family Foundation
JP Morgan Chase Bank
Michael Jordan and The Jordan Brand
United States Treasury
Benevity Fund Foundation
Best Buy Foundation
East Bay Community Foundation
Illinois No. 3 Foundation
Kaiser Foundation Hospital Fund for Community Benefit Programs at the East Bay Community Fund
McKinnon-Stachon Family Charitable Trust
The California Wellness Foundation
The Couric Family Fund at The East Bay Community Foundation
The William G. Irwin Charity Foundation
The Walt Disney Foundation
The Danhakl Family Foundation
Helzel Family Foundation Fund
San Francisco Foundation
Universal Music Group
AH Capital Management, LLC
Bozzini Family Fund
Larry Fitzgerald Foundation
The Sola I Can Foundation
$15,000 – $29,999
California Community Foundation
Dan Levin and Naomi Andrews
Ernst & Young LLP.
Kenneth and Rachel Englund
Renaissance Charitable Foundation
The Oakland Athletics Community Fund
$10,000 – $14,999
County of Solano
East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation
Eggers Family Gift Fund
Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation
Geo Comply Solutions Inc.
Jewish Community Federation
John and Marcia Goldman Philanthropic Fund
Margaret Grimm Foundation
Michael J. Gnitecki
Williams Sonoma Foundation
$5,000 – $9,999
Christopher K Payne
City of Richmond
Epsilon Beta Boule
Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce
Sandra and Scott Baker
The Anna Catherine Foundation
The Yellow Chair Foundation
$2,500 – $4,999
Arnold Perkins Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation
Attles Center for Excellence
Janine O’ Neill
Latonia N Knox
Megan Holston Alexander
Thurman V. White Jr.
Viant Company Charitable Giving Fund
$1,500 – $2,499
Custom Ink LLC.
Timothy David McCreery
$1,000 – $1,499
Brian J Conner
Ervin Mathews Jr.
Jacob Emmert Aronson Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation
Joshua K Cherner
Lawrence and Sherian Washington Family Foundation
Marcellas Flenory Sr.
Marin Community Foundation
MRIGlobal (Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee)
Nandini Mani Giving Fund
National Philanthropic Trust
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