Brandon is the founding executive director of The Hidden Genius Project, an Oakland-based nonprofit that supports young African-American males in technology, leadership, and entrepreneurship. The Hidden Genius Project has served close to 1,000 kids.
Why public education?
I went to Oakland public schools from K-8, and then I had the opportunity to participate in the Better Chance Program. I attended a private high school for free. I felt I was prepared for the school thanks to my experience at Claremont, but what struck me was ‘Why was I able to afford this as opposed to someone else?’ Not everyone has the opportunity and support at school and home that I did.
I was born and raised here. As I was able to see more of the world in high school and college, I realized how diverse Oakland is and how important of a place it is politically and culturally. I know it has its challenges– school achievement, violence, and poverty– but it also has a certain level of swag, cultural intelligence, and a great deal of pride.
What are your vices?
I definitely try too much, in a good way. I try to do as much as possible in a given day and sit on various boards. I don’t have a problem saying no. I just want to do things and make things happen.