In 2022, we made significant strides toward expanding our global network of leaders.
In spite of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in 2022 and recent years, young leaders are still on the frontlines creating positive change. The promise of this generation is fundamental to strengthening democracy and safeguarding the values that help us all live up to our ideals, which is why our global programming continues to focus on providing emerging changemakers with the tools, values-based training, and connections they need to accelerate progress.
From every corner of the globe, our program participants are working together to address some of the biggest challenges of our time—from renewing our democratic institutions, protecting LGBTQ+ rights, fighting climate change, and so much more.
“Before receiving the 2022 Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service, I’d never been on a plane or left Michigan. I’m currently doing my Summer Voyage in Copenhagen, Denmark—interning at BLOXHUB, the Nordic hub for sustainable urbanization, studying how built and natural environments impact people and vice versa.
“I hope to redesign American cities in ways that are equitable, financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable. I’m studying Environmental Studies and Sustainability with a minor in Economics at Northern Michigan University.
The Voyager Scholarship gave me and 99 of my peers financial aid to alleviate the burden of college debt, meaningful travel experiences to expand our horizons, a network of mentors and leaders to support us, a $10,000 stipend, and free Airbnb housing to pursue a six-week summer work-travel experience.”
President Obama and Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky teamed up to welcome the first class of Voyagers who received the Voyager Scholarship for Public Service. The scholarship provides 100 college students with financial aid to alleviate the burden of college debt, meaningful travel experiences to expand their horizons, and a network of mentors and leaders to support them.
Hope in Action
Members of the Leaders program, which connects cohorts of regional changemakers to accelerate positive and lasting change in their communities and throughout their region, are already doing incredible work to bring our hope to action values to life. These changemakers hail from over 100 countries and territories and work on a wide range of issues, but they have all found connection, support, and inspiration from their fellow Leaders.
Our Programming Impact
Using a values-based leadership curriculum, in 2022 we successfully completed three international Leaders Program cohorts in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. In a recent survey,* 90 percent of program participants felt that as a result of their cohort experience, they have a clear sense of a path forward to create change and build bridges in their communities.
Upon completion of the program, Leaders and Scholars reported a notable shift in the way they view themselves and their leadership styles.
*As of 2021, our team works with a third-party vendor who serves as an embedded external design, monitoring, evaluation, and learning (DMEL) partner and oversees data collection, analysis and reporting for our leadership programs.
Where Hope Goes from Here: Our Alumni Community
We know that none of the work you’ve read about so far would be possible without the thousands of volunteers, campaign staffers, and public servants who transformed an unlikely campaign rooted in hope into one cemented in history, making President Obama’s journey to the White House possible.
We’re proud to amplify their stories as they continue to make a difference in their communities and are finding opportunities to connect this community to the current program participants as they pass the baton onto the next generation.
As we continue to welcome emerging leaders into our programs, we’ve been adding our program alumni into the vibrant and diverse community that has accomplished so much.
Upon completing their leadership programs, participants now become a part of the Obama Leadership Network, connecting them to one another so that they can learn from each other, share challenges and best practices, and ultimately expand their impact.