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Voyager Scholarship

The Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service supports students who have a passion for helping others, experience serving their communities, and can demonstrate an expansive view of what’s possible through public service.

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About

An increasingly globalized world needs young leaders who can bridge divides and help solve our biggest challenges. The Voyager Scholarship was created by the Obamas and Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb to help shape such leaders. Even though they come from different backgrounds, President Obama and Brian both believe that exposure to new places and experiences generates understanding, empathy, and cooperation which equips the next generation to create meaningful change.

We are looking for young people from every corner of this country who share a curiosity about the world and the conviction to want to make positive change within it—just like the scholarship's founders. Students should have a passion for helping others, experience serving in or building community, and an expansive view of what’s possible through public service.

The Voyager Scholarship Program is a two-year, leadership development and scholarship program. Through a transformational combination of barrier-reducing financial aid, an immersive work-travel experience, and a robust network of leaders and mentors, the Voyager Scholarship is designed to inspire, empower, and connect the next generation of leaders and equip them with the tools and resources they need to launch their careers in public service. 

The program identifies students in their third year of undergraduate studies who have a passion for public service. Over the course of two years, programming will facilitate opportunities for students to refine their values-based leadership approach, build bridges across communities, and nurture their sense of curiosity as they deepen their commitment to pursuing public service careers.

Announcing the Voyager Scholarship for Public Service

Programming Overview & Commitment

This scholarship gives college students financial aid to alleviate the burden of college debt, meaningful travel experiences to expand their connections to new communities, and a network of mentors and leaders to support them.

Voyagers will meet virtually over Zoom once each month for approximately 90 minutes. They will also participate in individual coaching and network connection sessions as they develop their Summer Voyage plans. Some months will require additional hours of work outside of the required program sessions to ensure a timely submission of an actionable Summer Voyage plan.

Other support includes:

  • Up to $50,000 in financial aid

    Students will receive up to $25,000 per year in “last dollar” financial aid for their junior and senior years of college. This financial aid should alleviate the burden of college debt so that students can afford to pursue a career in public service.

  • Summer Voyage

    Students will receive a $10,000 stipend and free Airbnb housing to pursue a summer work-travel experience between their junior and senior year of college. The students will design their own Summer Voyage to gain exposure to new communities and experience in a chosen field.

  • 10-year travel stipend

    After graduation, Airbnb will provide the students with a $2,000 Airbnb travel credit every year for 10 years, totaling $20,000. This will allow students to continue to broaden their horizons and forge new connections throughout their public service careers.

  • Fall Summit

    During their Junior Year, Voyagers may have the option to attend an in-person convening where they will engage in community building activities with fellow Voyagers, build their leadership skills, and learn from experienced leaders in public service.

  • Network of leaders

    Throughout the program, students will be invited to an ongoing speaker series, giving them access to a network of leaders. This network of leaders will expose them to new areas of service and innovations happening in their fields. After graduation, they will join the Obama Foundation’s global community, providing them with Foundation resources and programming.

How to Apply

Applications for the Voyager Scholarship for Public Service are now closed. Thank you for your interest in the scholarship.

FAQs

Eligibility information is included in our FAQs section. Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements both at the time of application and enrollment for the Fall.

Your support turns hope into action

Donate to the Barack Obama Foundation to inspire, empower, and connect the next generation to change their world.

The Barack Obama Foundation is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN 46-4950751).

Meet the Voyagers