PLATINUM2023

THE HIDDEN GENIUS PROJECT

#RevealingGenius

Oakland, CA   |  www.hiddengeniusproject.org

Mission

The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.

Ruling year info

2014

Executive Director

Brandon Nicholson, Ph.D.

Main address

1441 Franklin St. Fourth Floor

Oakland, CA 94612 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-0689949

NTEE code info

Student Services and Organizations (B80)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

While there is sufficient narrative and data outlining the various ways in which Oakland’s Black male youth are in trouble or behind, we often lose sight of the vast assets and potential our young men demonstrate each and every day. Citing the achievement gap, disproportionate under- and unemployment, and disproportionately low representation within prominent tech-sector companies do not do us justice. Moreover, this narrative often shrouds not only the root causes of their realities, but also the hope ahead.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Intensive Immersion Program

The Immersion Program is a free 15-month intensive enrichment program that mentors and trains black male, high school students. Participating youth receive 800+ hours of training in computer science, software development, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

High school students participate in 15 months of intensive technical and entrepreneurial training: Two 7-week summer sessions, one year of after-school programming, and more than 800 hours of training in:

● Computer Science + Software Development
● Critical Thinking + Problem Solving
● Business + Entrepreneurship
● Leadership + Manhood Development

Students learn multiple programming languages, develop their own software applications, and hone community leadership skills through robust coaching in written and verbal communications, goal-setting, and healthy decision-making.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People of African descent

The Hidden Genius Project offers free single- and multi-day events and workshops throughout the year with the express intent of igniting interest and exposing black males to mentors, basic computer programming, and pathways to tech-careers.

Throughout the year we offer free events and workshops to ignite students’ interest in gaining skills and exploring careers within the technology sector.

BROTHER’S CODE
The Hidden Genius Project and Kapor Center for Social Impact host a full day of workshops that expose students to skills and networks, inspiring them to pursue opportunities within the tech sector. This annual event is open to young men of color in middle and high school.

TECH SLAM
In partnership with TEAM, Inc., The Hidden Genius Project hosts a variety of computer science-based activities that make connections to other fields, including music, fashion and sports.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of program graduates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Men and boys, Adolescents, People of African descent

Related Program

Intensive Immersion Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The size and number of cohorts continue to increase, and so do the numbers of program graduates. We now have more cohorts in Oakland, Los Angeles, and are launching in Detroit in 2022.

Number of high school seniors who graduate from high school on time

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Men and boys, Adolescents, People of African descent

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

As we have increased the size and number of cohorts, so increase the graduates. In 2019 30 of 30 seniors graduated, and our high school graduation rate is peaking over 95%.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People of African descent, People of Asian descent, Multiracial people, Indigenous peoples

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This includes all programming, including our Intensive Immersion Program, Catalyst Programs, and Youth Educator-led workshops.

Number of seniors who pursue Post-secondary Educational opportunities

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Men and boys, Adolescents

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These figures pertain to alumni of our Intensive Immersion Program, and the number grows each year. In 2019, we have almost 30 young people entering postsecondary education.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Hidden Genius Project leverages training in technology to support young people to develop into adults who can positively serve their communities and achieve their goals. The Hidden Genius Project also aims to dismantle barriers to lucrative tech careers (lack of exposure to the sector, minimal access to technical skills training, and a lack of relevant professional networks) for young men in Oakland and the Bay Area through intensive training, mentorship, and holistic support.

Through our work we aim to inspire young people in realizing their highest potential and establish the skills and networks necessary to guide them on a path toward their individual goals. Even once our Hidden Geniuses reach the alumni phase, we continue to support them to complete high school and enter meaningful postsecondary pathways thereafter.

Using a holistic approach, The Hidden Genius Project instills the value of community, provides a shared experience, and creates a community of care that tends to the whole child. Truly meeting students where they are, the 15-month no-cost Intensive Immersion program is the only one of its kind in the nation—in part, because this is hard work.

The Hidden Genius Project was established during a period of national philanthropic and corporate investment in STEM exposure and technology training for youth of color, girls and young women. The Hidden Genius Project was labeled a tech/coding training program—but, it is so much more.

Recognizing the need for clarity and brand identity within the crowded market of technology training initiatives and to differentiate itself as a youth development, entrepreneurship, and leadership development program, The Hidden Genius Project invested 1.5 years to test messages, build communications infrastructure, and create communications tools.

● The Hidden Genius Project was founded in 2012 by five black male entrepreneurs/technologists who committed themselves to bridging
the gap between the high unemployment rates of black male youth and career opportunities within the local technology sector.

● The Hidden Genius Project is the only technology creation program
for black male youth that infuses every student touch point with black male mentorship, leadership development, community responsibility, and career exploration.

● The Hidden Genius Project is a leadership and entrepreneurship program that achieves its goal through technology training.

● The Hidden Genius Project provides a 15-month technology creation program that teaches problem-solving and awakens the genius in students.

● The Hidden Genius Project’s educators are primarily black men who are dedicated to community empowerment and youth development.

● Cascading mentorship is a reality within The Hidden Genius Project.

● The Hidden Genius Project creates learning environments that are safe and conducive to youth self-expression and creative exploration.

● We help students see their own genius and we equip them with the necessary skills to navigate personal and professional spaces with success while maintaining their cultural identity and a sense of self.

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE
- Over 4,700 youth served through direct programming since 2012
- Over 1,400 students served in 2018 alone
- Over 110 students served through Intensive Immersion Program in 2018
- 98% retention of Immersion students since 2015
- 95% high school graduation for Immersion Hidden Geniuses
- 95% postsecondary education matriculation among alumni

As we look forward, we are working to build the infrastructure to serve more young people more effectively, in more places.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

THE HIDDEN GENIUS PROJECT
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

THE HIDDEN GENIUS PROJECT

Board of directors
as of 12/15/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Biff Clark

Kilimanjaro Robbs

Biff Clark

West Coast Enterprise Network

Adriane Armstrong

Juma Ventures

Kevin Hart

Kaiser Permanente

Ken Englund

Ernst & Young

Megan Holston-Alexander

Andreesen Horowitz

Erik Moore

Base Ventures

Tarrazzia Martin

Ken Grimes

Jonathan Bass

Darrell Edwards, Jr.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/15/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/15/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.