Jason Young has a record of turning dreams into achievements. As a 13-year-old in 1995 he founded the J. W. Young & Associates travel agency, and once it was running he started (and mostly was) the New World Tutorial service. The first black valedictorian at Pacific Hills (CA) High School, Jason went to Harvard, where he doubled membership in the Harvard Black Men’s Forum and turned the club into the third-highest-grossing student organization, at the same time increasing ten-fold attendance at its flagship event, the Celebration of Black Women – and establishing a scholarship for young black women of exceptional talent.
While an undergraduate, Jason spent two summers with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Graduating with a degree in Economics, Jason went from Harvard to Merrill Lynch. But idealistic entrepreneurship had become an addiction, and in 2007 he left to join the founding team of Wikinvest.com, an early-stage technology startup that helps normal people to make better investment decisions. While there, he also volunteered on the side helping young adults with their personal finances. Through this work, Jason came to understand that financial illiteracy had reached epidemic proportions in our country.
In 2011, while working as a Kauffman Entrepreneurial Fellow, he founded MindBlown Labs, an education technology company that creates captivating, mobile, game-based solutions that empower young people through financial capability. MindBlown’s goal is to impact 20M lives by 2020. He and co-founder and fellow Ron Brown Scholar, Ty Moore, moved to Oakland to launch their new company and were immediately struck by the need to enable more blacks to enter the Bay Area’s signature industry: high technology. Along with several other black technology entrepreneurs, they founded the Hidden Genius Project, a multi-year program that trains underserved black male youth in software development and entrepreneurial thinking.
Jason has served on the boards of the Harvard Club of San Francisco, the Harvard Black Alumni Society, and, a first for us, the Ron Brown Scholar Program’s Advisory Board. His talent for enabling others to realize dreams has been repeatedly demonstrated, and the RBSP is delighted to award Jason its first American Journey Award for Emerging Leadership.