At the core of Jokim Bryant’s spirit is the unequivocal love he has for his community. This passion became even clearer for Jokim after participating in the inaugural Los Angeles Cohort of our Immersion Program. “I am someone who loves to uplift their peers,” says Jokim, “and the greater community, and this program exposed me to the importance of this value from the moment I joined.” Soon after completing our program, Jokim continued to give back as a Youth Educator by mentoring girls and non-binary youth through our Community Partnership Program with Compton Girls Club. Now, 18-year-old Jokim is excited to graduate high school and embark on his journey to Howard University as a Political Science major, with a minor in Computer Science this fall. 

How have you been? 

Both my family and I have been well. I’ve just been busy applying for scholarships and finishing high school. A few weeks ago I made my decision to attend Howard University this coming fall. The biggest thing that excites me about going to Howard is the fact that I’ll be joining an innovative community that truly faces its challenges head-on. I can’t wait to join the Bison family and push forward in my journey to make a difference in the world and my community.  

How did you first learn about The Hidden Genius Project?

I first learned about The Hidden Genius Project from a family friend in 2020. Once they told me about the Immersion Program I immediately filled out the application right then and there. Soon after, I went to interview for the program on my birthday and was completely drawn into the process. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to join the program.

What was your experience in the program like?

I love being a part of The Hidden Genius Project, mainly because it helped develop me into the community-driven person I am today. I am someone who loves to uplift their peers and the greater community, and this program exposed me to the importance of this value from the moment I joined. 

One of my favorite highlights in the program was our deep, group conversations about Black excellence, and how we as young Black men need to work together to make a change for ourselves and our future. I also enjoyed our leadership lessons where we talked to each other about community development, sports, and new ways to use our brotherhood to support our neighborhoods. 

Describe the app you designed during your time in the Immersion Program.

The app that I designed during my time at The Hidden Genius Project was called iAm Poetry. This app was used as a platform for people to elevate their voices through spoken word and poetry. It also allowed people who are interested in poetry to understand the wonders of this art. I write poetry as a way to voice my thoughts, which is very rewarding to me. Whenever times were hard, poetry provided an outlet for me to express myself and uplift those around me. From there, it became a passion of mine which motivated me to develop iAm Poetry. 

During the app-building process, I used tools such as Figma, Flutter, and Google Firebase to create my project from start to finish. One of the top features I worked on was giving users the opportunity to post their poems with an art cover and share it with others. The biggest thing I took away from creating my app was the knowledge and understanding of how HTML, Python, and other coding languages work together. Overall, I loved being in the app-making learning track as it made me refine my passion for technology, teaching, and collaboration because I was able to share everything I learned with others inside and outside of the program. 

How is The Hidden Genius Project different from other mentorship or training experiences that you have been involved in?

The Hidden Genius Project provided me with a family. I walked into the program with only two brothers, but I left with over one-hundred brothers because of the relationships we created during the pandemic. Over the course of the 15 months, I was able to grow with them and understand what my purpose was in life, which is to support and give back to others. I truly believe the most important thing I gained on a personal level was my relationship with my brothers. Through my time in the program, I was able to develop a team of friends and family who wanted to see me succeed and be at my best.

What specific skills learned in The Hidden Genius Project have been most beneficial for you? 

The Hidden Genius Project taught me how to code in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript which are the basic concepts you need to know in order to create a website. I also learned how to make a business plan; so understanding the process and the different parts of the business, including the importance of having a good team. 

The program also helped me develop my critical thinking skills. This involves solving problems and creating a proper process for resolving issues both now and in the future. I also learned what it means to be emotionally intelligent, which provided me with the know-how to thrive in situations I am not normally accustomed to being in.

In what ways have you remained involved with The Hidden Genius Project since completing the 15-month Intensive Immersion program?

After completing the program, I continued to support The Hidden Genius Project as a Youth Educator. Over the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to lead the Compton Girls Club community partner program where I helped teach their youth how to code and create their own digital magazine. Truthfully, working with Compton Girls Club really changed my life as that’s where I found my niche for teaching and sharing my knowledge with others. It feels good seeing them get excited about their projects, plus I enjoyed working with my fellow Genius brothers — Elijah Flores and Logan Cox over the past two years. 

The Hidden Genius Project also has been super helpful in my college journey. Janet Lopez (Los Angeles Alumni Coordinator) and Arnold Lopez (Manager of Alumni Engagement) are my college advising besties. They’ve supported my transition to college, especially when it comes to applying for scholarships. Because of their support, I received numerous scholarships, including funds from the Dell Scholars and SoLa I Can Foundation which will help me in my journey to Howard University. Honestly, everyone at The Hidden Genius Project has played a huge role in helping me stay focused on my goals and I appreciate them for that. 

If you could talk to yourself just before you applied, what is one thing you would say?

If I could talk to myself before I applied, I would tell myself it’s now up to you to grasp the opportunity and thrive.

What words of encouragement do you have for future Geniuses?

I would tell future Geniuses that this is a chance for you to change your entire life.

Since 2012, nearly 10,300 students have revealed their genius through our Immersion, Catalyst, and Community Partner Programs, and so many more are waiting to shine.


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