April 29, 2024

How The Hidden Genius Project Plans To Bring More Young Black Men Into Tech

A national program, The Hidden Genius Project, teaches technology and entrepreneurship to young Black men in Chicago and around the US.

The Hidden Genius Project

The project was founded in 2012 by five Black male entrepreneurs and technologists who had noticed the high unemployment of Black male youth and the large number of careers in tech.

To address the challenge, they created a program to connect young Black males with the skills, mentors and experiences needed to become high-performing entrepreneurs and technologists.

“The hidden genius project trains and mentors Black male youth in tech creation, entrepreneurship and leadership skills to transform their lives and their communities,” said Eric Steen, the Chicago site director for the program.

“We have a 15-month immersion program where our young men obtain over 800 hours of computer science training.”

The project covers Chicago, LA, Detroit, and other cities.

Read: McLaren F1 Cars To Spotlight Black Male Youth In Tech At US Grand Prix

The Students And Brotherhood

According to CBS news, when they visited the program, the young men used coding skills they had learned over the summer to create real-life games.

They were put into teams and made to strategize how to beat other teams, teaching them how to work together and introducing a sense of brotherhood.

“I think often, our young men only have the opportunity to build that brotherhood when playing sports,” Steen said.

“We wanted to make sure they had the opportunity to build it elsewhere, because they wanted to better themselves. They want to create things for the future.”

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.