By: TJ Armour, N’Digo
Date: Monday, March 20, 2023
Oakland, California native Brandon Nicholson has been a champion of young people for most of his life. Growing up with parents that were very engaged in local school boards and the PTA, Brandon got an early bird’s eye view of the inner workings of the education system. Since then, he has dedicated his life to promoting equity in the public realm, especially in the education space.
As Chief Executive Officer of The Hidden Genius Project, Nicholson trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities. The Hidden Genius Project seeks to reveal the true potential of Black male youth and transform their communities from the inside out.
Recently awarded a $2 million grant via their ongoing partnership with Comcast/NBC Universal as part of its Project UP initiative, The Hidden Genius Project is now set to expand into Atlanta and Chicago to further digital skills training programs for Black male youth.
“Our continued partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal will equip us to engage even more Black youth with the skills, experiences, and networks to find their way into family-sustaining career pathways, including the tech sector,” Nicholson says. “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.”
N’DIGO recently sat down with Nicholson to learn more about the man, The Hidden Genius Project, and his plans for Chicago.
N’DIGO: In your own words, who is Brandon Nicholson?
Brandon Nicholson: Brandon Nicholson is a Black man from Oakland, California, who does his best to create daily value in his life and community. Fortunately, he has a wealth of friends and family who propel him forward and keep him honest, including his wife, Rachel, and son, Nico.
Did you always know you’d work in service of young people?
I have always had a passion for matters of equity and opportunity for young people. For years my path was extremely linear, and I assumed that maybe there were just a few specific paths for me to work to deliver a deep positive impact on the lives of youth in our communities. As I have gained more experience and perspective, I understand there are innumerable ways to make a difference, whether via my explicit career path or the way I approach life. I am now fortunate to have a job where I can jump out of bed each day, confident that I have a real opportunity to do something meaningful to create access for a young person. [To continue reading, click HERE.]