$100 million scholarship fund will support students pursuing careers in public service with an academic scholarship, exposure to travel, and connections to a network of leaders
Today, President and Mrs. Obama and Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder and CEO, announced the Voyager Scholarship, The Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service.
The Obamas and Brian Chesky share the belief that connection doesn’t just enrich our own lives—it helps societies come together, forge common bonds, and solve big problems. It’s why President and Mrs. Obama started the Obama Foundation and it’s an idea at the core of Airbnb. That’s why the Obamas and Chesky are coming together to launch a scholarship for students pursuing careers in public service by providing access to travel and education.
Funded by a $100 million personal contribution from Chesky to the Obama Foundation, the Voyager Scholarship gives college students financial aid to help alleviate the burden of college debt, meaningful travel experiences to expand their horizons, and a network of mentors and leaders to support them throughout their careers. The scholarship is anticipated to support 100 students in the first year and scale to support greater numbers of students over the coming years who are committed to entering careers in public service.
“If we want this next generation of leaders to be able to do what they need to do, they have to meet each other. They have to know each other. They have to understand each other's communities,” said President Obama in the announcement video, “You're going to find young people from every corner of this country who are going to be future change makers. There are leaders everywhere. We just have to find them.”
“We need a generation of leaders who are willing to cooperate and build bridges, but it’s hard to build a bridge if you haven’t seen the other side of the river,” said Chesky. “The Voyager Scholarship will broaden their horizons and give these young leaders tools and experiences that will shape their careers. There are young people across the country who have a passion for public service, but can’t pursue it because of their student loan debt. We want to help reduce that burden.”
“Education is personal for me,” said former First Lady Michelle Obama, “I’ve met so many young people who are interested in public service, but they’re wondering how they’re going to pay for school or whether they’ll get to see the world beyond their own community. We could not be more grateful to team up with Brian to help out these young people on their journey to create change.”
The Voyager Scholarship is a two-year program for students in their junior and senior years of college from across the United States who are committed to pursuing careers that serve the public and their communities. Voyagers will receive:
Applications are open to undergraduate students entering their junior year of college at an accredited four year college or university in the United States. Applications will be accepted beginning today and must be received by June 14, 2022. Approximately 100 students will join the inaugural class of Voyagers. Accepted students will be notified in September.
For more information and to apply, visit voyager-scholarship.obama.org Opens in a new tab .