In an effort to bring more diversity to the tech field, Google awarded a $1 million grant to The Hidden Genius Project last month.
The Hidden Genius Project is an Oakland-based group that mentors young Black boys to become high-performing entrepreneurs and technologists. The grant funds “will help the organization grow into new cities, train more staff, and expand their work to inspire more young people to pursue careers at the intersection of tech and their passions," said Google.org Principal Justin Steele in a statement.
Google was first introduced to The Hidden Genius Project when they competed and won the 2015 Google Impact Challenge. Subsequently, the organization has reached almost 2,000 Bay Area students through a series of events, workshops, and a 15-month intensive program.
The Hidden Genius Project also matches its participants with Black male mentors to help further their learning and equip them with the skills needed to excel in the industry. A recent Gallup poll, which persuaded Google, revealed that students are five times more likely to take up interest in computer science if they often see people who look like them working in that field. The study surveyed the under-representation of girls, Blacks, and Latinos in the industry.
“This work builds on over $35 million in Google.org grants focused on providing opportunities for underrepresented students to become pioneers of technology, and we’re excited to see how The Hidden Genius Project uses this new grant,” said Steele.