The Brandon Nicholson Story: Show Notes

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Click here for full interview on YouTube.

A graduate from Princeton, Oakland native, and practicing Buddhist, Brandon Nicholson is also the founding Executive Director of The Hidden Genius Project. The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation entrepreneurship & leadership skills to transform their lives & communities. Brandon Nicholson has always felt a deep sense of commitment to promoting equity in the public realm, particularly in the education space. He has conducted substantial research in the areas of education and equity and has considerable experience investigating linkages between race, class, and youth development. The Hidden Genius Project is no stranger to success and has received grant funding from entities such as,, and the Golden State Warriors. The non-profit has also been featured in publications like Forbes, BusinessInsider, AfroTech, and NBC News. During our interview we discuss how growing up surrounded by books and Buddhism influenced Brandon’s trajectory, food stamps, and how impact can be measured with a story.

Personal Twitter:







Topics discussed in this episode:

[00:00] Introductions

[01:58] Hidden Genius Project

[07:16] Google Impact Grant, New York Times Article

[10:54] Messing up the Church’s money

[13:36] Know who you are and know who you’re not

[16:32] You give me a number and I’ll make it sound however it needs to

[19:25] College enrollment north of 95%

[23:29] Swift with the wrist

[28:34] Value and Wisdom comes from all over

[32:23] I’m a black boy and I just got called out of class

[34:25] The meaning of Old Money / New Money

[35:42] If you wanna to be stifled, go back east

[40:27] The only black tutor

[41:10] Buddhism

[43:54] The most hard hitting racial injustice was the COVID-19 aftermath

[46:45] Our team is not deterred by this

[49:01] These young people need us

[50:33] Rapid fire, stay ready

[52:00] Top 5 favorite hip-hop artists

[53:40] LeBron James and Voter Empowerment

Resources mentioned in this episode:

“LeBron James joins push to turn out ex-felon vote in Florida”, Politico

Book Recommendations:

Devil in the Grove

“How to Start a Podcast During a Pandemic”

About The Host:

Stevon Cook is a small business owner, policy maker and media personality. He is the founder of The Luther Harris Holding Company, a strategic advising company that focuses on creating partnerships, diversity recruitment and helping companies drive impact in the communities where they do business.

As the host of The Cook on Monday Morning podcast, he interviews high capacity leaders in a variety of industries. The goal of the podcast is to build a community of people creating lives that make them excited about Monday morning. At Cook on Monday Morning we believe that if we can own Monday morning, we can own the week, if we can own the week then we can own the year and if we change your year, we can change your life.

Cook is the former President of the San Francisco Board of Education. He was elected in 2016 with over 150,000 votes. He also served as CEO of Mission Bit, an education nonprofit focused on ending generational poverty through coding education for high school students.

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Book Recommendations:

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Consultant: Strategic Advising & Recruiting | SF Board of Education | Cook on Monday Morning Podcast.

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