LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Intensive Immersion Program

The cornerstone of The Hidden Genius Project is our award-winning Intensive Immersion Program. This FREE, 15-month, cohort-based training program provides Black males in high school with upwards of 800 hours of holistic, trauma/healing-informed, high-touch mentorship and intensive training that seeks to develop youth into strong and responsible leaders equipped with coding and entrepreneurial skills, who can identify and develop tech-enabled solutions to address society's most compelling challenges.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

South LA

West LA

South Bay

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

The Hidden Genius Project (and our Intensive Immersion Program) was founded in response to the dramatic juxtaposition between the high unemployment of Black male youth and the plethora of career opportunities within the local technology sector. To address this we connect young Black males with the culturally and holistically informed skills, mentors, and experiences that they need to become high-performing entrepreneurs and technologists in a 21st century, global economy.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Our flagship service is our Intensive Immersion Program-a 15-month, cohort-based class model in which students attend two 7-week summer sessions (5 days a week, 8 hours a day), bridged by weekly 2-hr sessions during their academic year. The Intensive Immersion Program is focused on community transformation and career readiness and (in Los Angeles,) annually provides nearly 50 Black male high school students with 800 hours of training and support to help them think critically about their future academic and career plans and chart a real path that supports their long-term goals. By providing an intensive format, integrating leadership and entrepreneurship as core components, providing primarily Black male staff and mentorship, ensuring multiple programming languages are taught, offering alumni continuing support and opportunities for growth, and expanding our holistic support service strategy, we are building a game-changing organization that is investing in and ultimately changing the future of our communities.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

The success of The Hidden Genius Project's Intensive Immersion Program in Los Angeles County will lead to empowered leaders, innovative solutions, social cohesion, economic growth, and greater educational equity. By equipping Black male high school students with coding and entrepreneurial skills, fostering leadership abilities, and providing holistic mentorship, the program will create a generation of empowered individuals capable of developing tech-enabled solutions to community challenges. This will contribute to a more prosperous and inclusive Los Angeles County, with stronger social bonds, economic opportunities, and educational equity for all.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

In Los Angeles, The Hidden Genius Project has served a total of 95 young Black males in our Intensive Immersion Program to date, with a 93% of students finishing the full 15-month program cycle. These students boast a 100% high school graduation rate and a 98% post-secondary matriculation rate, with over 40% going on to pursue majors or minors in Computer Science related fields (and an additional 14% pursuing business-related degrees).

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 72

Indirect Impact: 3,000