Comcast NBCUniversal has announced a new $2 million grant to the recognized nonprofit, The Hidden Genius Project, furthering the company’s longstanding efforts to advance economic mobility through critical digital skills building across its national footprint and here in Atlanta.
The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities. Comcast’s funding, which will be distributed over two years, will support The Hidden Genius Project is happy to expand to Atlanta and Chicago this year.
Representation within the tech sector continues to be starkly inequitable. Black Americans occupy just 7% of tech jobs, although they account for 14% of the national population.
The Hidden Genius Project, in the past, has offered mentorship, career planning and tech skills training to hundreds of Black male high school youth in Oakland, Richmond and Los Angeles, California, and in Detroit, through their Intensive Immersion Program.
The results speak for themselves. Program participants have a 98% high school graduation rate, with 95% entering post-secondary education and over 40% of alumni studying computer science or related fields. Building on this track record, Comcast’s funding will help even more former program participants gain post-secondary education and support the development of Genius Lab, an innovative new curriculum for young people of color to gain computer science, software development and entrepreneurship skills.
“Our continued partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal will equip us to engage even more Black youth with the skills, experiences, and networks to find their way into family-sustaining career pathways, including the tech sector,” said Brandon Nicholson, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of The Hidden Genius Project. “With ample access, our young people regularly realize their potential to pursue meaningful and exciting pathways, and subsequently create future opportunities not only for themselves, but also their entire community.”
“We are thrilled to support The Hidden Genius Project and their mission of guiding Black male youth on their path to becoming leaders in the technology sector,” said Jason Gumbs, Regional SVP at Comcast. “In a digital economy, having the necessary programming and resources needed to thrive is critical. We look forward to The Hidden Genius Project’s continued success and their expansion to Atlanta.”
This grant announcement marks the continuation and support courtesy of Comcast’s seven-year partnership with The Hidden Genius Project, which has enabled programmatic, volunteer and outreach collaboration in local communities across the country. The announcement is also a part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion national commitment to reach tens of millions of people in order to advance digital equity and help create a future of unlimited possibilities.