By: Brenda Martinez, Salesforce
Date: Friday, February 24, 2023
At Salesforce, we are proud to partner with Black-led nonprofits to advance their missions. One of these incredible organizations is The Hidden Genius Project, which trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.
Over the past several years, Salesforce has built a partnership with The Hidden Genius Project, leveraging our 1-1-1 model through philanthropic support, employee volunteering, and product donations.
“We are always looking for opportunities to partner with people and companies like Salesforce to create transformative experiences for our Geniuses,” said Denzel Russell, Communications Manager at The Hidden Genius Project. “Whether it’s your time, skills, technology, or monetary donations, this type of partnership allows us to help more young people reveal their true potential and open more doors for them.”
Salesforce Catalyst Fund Provides Philanthropic Support
Recently, we welcomed The Hidden Genius Project into our grantee community as part of the Salesforce Catalyst Fund, which provides critical, unrestricted capital to nonprofits led by underrepresented leaders. To date, this portfolio has dedicated $4M across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia to organizations addressing inequities in education, economic opportunity, and racial justice.
These unrestricted grants provide organizations with the funds to scale their mission and expand programs like The Hidden Genius Project’s 15-month-long Intensive Immersion Program, which engages high school-aged Black male students by providing them with the mentorship and hands-on experiential learning opportunities that teach them skills in computer science, software development, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
Salesforce Employees Volunteer to Support Geniuses
Throughout the years, Salesforce employees have volunteered over 1K hours to The Hidden Genius Project. Each summer, employees host students in our offices, allowing them to learn about careers in tech, network with employees, and get valuable feedback as they develop and practice business pitches for their entrepreneurial ideas. Our employees also lend their skills through pro-bono volunteering. For example, Salesforce marketers helped design the organization’s marketing and engagement strategy for its alumni entrepreneurship program.
I’ve personally had the opportunity to volunteer with The Hidden Genius Project on Interview Day, where students interested in participating in the Intensive Immersion Program are assessed. After interviewing over 50 students throughout the years, I’ve seen many go through the program and be transformed into confident young men fully prepared to attend college, launch their own businesses, or pursue a career in tech. [To continue reading, click HERE.]