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I am a Genius University is a nonprofit organization dedicated to servicing at-risk students in the greater Atlanta area. In addition to mentoring and tutoring, we also work in tandem with schools to help plan and finance constructive field trips that inspire students to think outside the box and to dream big. Our mission is to support public education by providing exposure, mentorship, and high quality education designed to empower, inspire, and motivate children to greatness. 

Statistics show that one third of the students who enter high school will drop out and many students with high school diplomas are barely able to read or write. The vast majority of students leaving our education system do not have the skills to earn a living in our increasingly technological society and international marketplace. According to a study done by the Education Commission of the States, African-American and Latino high school seniors perform math and read at the same level as 13-year-old white students.These problems don’t begin in high school; by then it’s often much too late. We are seeking to alleviate the failure rates of this population early in the student’s academic career.

I am a Genius University has identified three of the main contributors to this failure epidemic:

  1. The thirty million word gap refers to an extraordinary 30,000,000 word disparity in the number of words spoken between students on welfare and those who are not. “The differences in parent-child interactions produced significant discrepancies in not only children’s knowledge, but also their skills and experiences with children from high-income families being exposed to 30 million more words than children from families on welfare. Follow-up studies showed that these differences in language and interaction experiences have lasting effects on a child’s performance later in life” ( We have designed interactive reading and speaking programs that will strengthen the vocabularies of students from pre-k to 2nd grade.

  2. Lack of specific, predefined goals prior to entering middle school. Everyone knows that setting and achieving goals translates to feelings of success, which in turn spurs greater productivity and confidence. Middle school years are a critical time of development for students. During this phase of education students become acutely aware of their own maturation. This awareness presents an ideal opportunity to instill goal setting and prepare students for high school, college and overall life success. However, this important period is being squandered as students drift aimlessly having no predetermined goals to work towards. Not only does our middle school program define strategic goals, it also includes mile-markers, incentives and interventions designed to consistently remind that they have a purpose to fulfill.

  3. Learned Helplessness. Self-image deficiencies often manifest as learned helplessness in students. These students have experienced so much failure, or what they think to be failures, that they no longer try because failure has proven much too painful in the past. They have turned off as a safe means to avoid further failures. Students suffering from learned helplessness require individualized attention infused with confidence building and self-image management. While this condition is not difficult to address, it has dire consequences when left unchecked.

The Genius University program endeavors to create paradigm shifts for at-risk students by consistently engaging low performing students in activities that promote resilience, foster a positive outlook towards school and build confidence. Our model is simple: couple mentoring with tutoring; ensure early successes and excitement in all academic activities, and consistently affirm recognition of every child’s genius.

The current education system is under-funded, under-staffed and is in urgent need of help to address these issues. What if, as a community, we came together and finally addressed the roots of the most prevalent struggles afflicting at-risk youth? Together, we could drastically reduce the drop-out rates, increase the number of minorities who complete college and who go on to establish successful entrepreneurial endeavors.

We need your help! Funding is needed to train and employ staff, for field trips, showcases and necessary supplies, etc.

Please visit our website,, for more information.

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