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Nathaniel Dudley '20 Travels to South Africa with Oakland-Based Nonprofit
Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School senior Nathaniel (Nate) Dudley recently traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa with Oakland-based nonprofit The Hidden Genius Project to deliver technology programming to local youth.
The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities. Nate is an alumnus of the organization’s Intensive Immersion Program, a 15-month mentorship experience that provides computer science, software development, entrepreneurship, and leadership training to black male high school students. He and fellow Immersion Program Alumni joined Hidden Genius Project staff on the trip to deliver programming that exposes high school youth of color to a dynamic array of technology-related opportunities.
Throughout the week, Nate visited local high schools and led a workshop called Design Thinking. During the workshop, the local students would discuss problems they were experiencing within their communities, such as teenage pregnancy, corruption, and air pollution, and brainstormed how they could use technology to address the issues.
“Through the workshops, I was able to see how creative the students were and how eager [they] were to help improve their communities,” Nate explained. “They always wanted to learn more, not only for themselves, but so that they could go and inform those around them,” he added.
The group also had the opportunity to explore Johannesburg, which included a visit to Nelson Mandela's house in Soweto, as well as a safari.
“One of the greatest cultural differences in South Africa compared to the U.S. was how grateful and appreciative people were,” Nate shared. “Overall, I was able to learn from them just as much as they learned from me.”
Photo credit: Hidden Genius Project.