An award-winning nonprofit that invests and mentors Black youth is Atlanta-bound.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to link arms with communities in Atlanta so that we might offer our young people an even deeper array of opportunities,” said Brandon Nicholson, executive director of the Hidden Genius Project.

The Hidden Genius Project is a student-centered, project-based development experience. It invests in Black men to provide access to technology, training and networking.

Within the program, high school students participate in 15 months of intensive technical and entrepreneurial training through two, seven-week summer sessions and one year of after-school programming.

The program aims to teach youth how to:

  • Create innovative solutions to community challenges and problems
  • Hone leadership and entrepreneurial skills and pitch business ideas
  • Design their own websites, software, and other technical projects
  • Establish healthy relationships and build trust with peers and mentors

“Over the past decade, we have been honored to engage young people across the globe to inspire them to leverage technology to reveal their genius, and we have seen some tremendous results,” said Nicholson.

The Oakland-based organization has active sites in Richmond, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago. Now, after operating successfully for the past 10 years, the Hidden Genius Project is expanding to Atlanta.

“Even as we have expanded to establish comprehensive sites in Los Angeles and Detroit, we continue to encounter the same brilliance, bold spirit, and infectious leadership qualities among our Black male youth,” he continued.

The expansion comes after Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, awarded the Project with a $3 million expansion grant.

The funds will directly support the nonprofit’s expansion to Atlanta.

The organization has partnered with Andrew & Walter Young YMCA and HYPE. HYPE is a similar organization, which cultivates tech leadership among young women.

“There is nothing of consequence that we have ever accomplished alone, and this growth moment will be no different. We are grateful to collaborate with a rich cadre of community and funder organizations, and have an even deeper impact for Atlanta youth,” said Nicholson.

The Atlanta Intensive Immersion Program will see its first cohort in June 2023. For more information, click here.

Rough Draft

Rough Draft Atlanta is the digital home of Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.