Sometimes leaving a mark means removing one.

On Monday, 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.

To read more coverage about this ground-breaking announcement, click HERE.

Meet Three Geniuses

Hesten Parrish, OAK7

Growing up in East Oakland, Hesten wanted to be part of The Hidden Genius Project from the time he wrote his first code in middle school. Winner of numerous debate awards, he also practices Taekwondo, and is a pilot in training.

Paris Irving, OAK3

Described as a self-taught technological spirit, always skating with an unbridled joy about learning new things, Paris has been with The Hidden Genius Project since 2015 and helps teach youth at the West Oakland Youth Center.

Brendan Kariithi, RICH5

For Brendan, math concepts and theories just click. His passion is to have a career in electrical engineering. He is a student body leader in his high school where he’s working on a project to create a resource area in his school for video editing and 3D printing.

Click HERE to read more stories from Hidden Genius Alumni
who completed our Intensive Immersion Program.

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,, 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!

Grand Prize Winner: Jeremiah Washington
Before Tech Slam F1 concluded, we raffled off a variety of prizes and swag to our youth participants. One winner, Jeremiah Washington, won the coveted grand prize of a VIP Ticket to visit the paddocks and garages at the US Grand Prix with The Hidden Genius Project, Smartsheet, and McLaren Racing.

Thank you to our sponsors and collaborators for helping to make
this Sponsor X initiative and Tech Slam Formula One event possible.