For our last Feel Good Friday during Black History Month, we’re coming back to California to profile Oakland’s own Hidden Genius Project.
The mission, explained on the website states, “The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.”
The main program is called the Intensive Immersion Program and here’s why. It’s a 15-month, holistic mentorship experience designed for Black males in 9th – 11th grade. In this program, students learn computer science, software development, entrepreneurship and leadership skills. Virtual cohorts based in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles begin in June and you can apply here.
To encourage continued development of program graduates, an Alumni Venture Seed Fund was created last year to support these young entrepreneurs through the five phases of startup development. Participants will showcase their work at an event in April.
There are also single and multi-day Catalyst Programming events and workshops throughout the year. These are designed to expose young people to basic computer programming and mentors in order to spark interest in technology careers. These events are free and subscribing to the newsletter is the best way to stay informed.
To see the impact the program is having on the over 7000 students served since 2012, take five minutes to watch this video. You’ll hear directly from the founders, mentors and current participants and see how much the program means to all of them.
If this work means something to you, get involved! Volunteer positions with The Hidden Genius Project are full but you can still show your support with a donation and by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @HiddenGeniusPro.