The Obama Foundation Scholars Program seeks to support dynamic, collaborative, rising leaders from around the world in an innovative one-year academic experience.
The Obama Foundation Scholars Program will give rising young leaders around the world who are already making a difference in their communities the opportunity to take their work to the next level through a newly designed curriculum that brings together academic, skills-based, and hands-on learning. The Scholars Program empowers individuals with a proven commitment to service with the tools they need to make their efforts more effective, to identify innovative solutions to complex global problems, and promote change through values-based leadership.
The program will build lasting relationships among emerging leaders who are committed to working together to solve the most pressing challenges of our time, creating a global network that reaches across issues and borders. After completing the program, Obama Foundation Scholars will return to their communities and continue the important work they started in the program by implementing their own personalized action plan. They will also have an opportunity to play a role in the Obama Foundation’s efforts to inspire, train, and connect rising leaders from around the globe.
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Obama Foundation Scholars at the University of Chicago will earn a Master of Arts degree focused on International Development and Policy at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. In addition to classroom studies, the Obama Foundation will offer a robust program of leadership development and service activities throughout the academic year to help Scholars gain the real-world skills, tools, and experiences to expand the impact of their work when they return home. These may include leadership development convenings; program experiences in New York and Washington, DC; speaker series with innovators across a variety of sectors; individual and group service projects; mentorship through the Obama Foundation network; potential internship placements; and action plan development for post-program activities. Some of these Foundation activities will include experiences throughout Chicago and the South Side. By engaging with the local community, students will have the opportunity to complement what they learn in the classroom and also to bring their unique perspectives to Chicago.
You can learn more about the Obama Foundation Scholars at the University of Chicago as well as future application cycles here. The application for the 2018-2019 class closed on April 17, 2018. Check back in August for an update on the inaugural cohort of Obama Foundation Scholars at the University of Chicago.
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Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University will participate in Columbia World Projects, a new initiative in which faculty and researchers from Columbia will partner with governments, nonprofits, the private sector, and intergovernmental organizations to create tangible solutions to real-world issues. The inaugural cohort at Columbia University will participate in a rigorous, immersive program that brings together academic, skills-based, and experiential learning, designed by Columbia University in consultation with the Obama Foundation. The program will also take advantage of the unique opportunities for engagement that come with being at one of the world’s most important centers of research and in the city of New York.
In addition to classroom studies, the Obama Foundation will offer a robust program of leadership development throughout the academic year to help both cohorts of Scholars gain the real-world skills, networks, tools, and experiences to expand the impact of their work when they return home. These may include leadership development convenings; program experiences in Chicago and Washington, DC; speaker series with innovators across a variety of sectors; individual and group service projects; mentorship through the Obama Foundation network; and action plan development for post-program activities.
Columbia University 2018-2019 Obama Foundation Scholars
Meet the 2018-2019 Columbia University Obama Foundation Scholars cohort below – and stay tuned to hear more about these leaders and their work over the course of the year.
CEO and Co-founder, SINGA France
Fostering collaboration between refugees and their host societies by focusing on refugees’ personal, professional, cultural, and entrepreneurial plans and goals.
South Africa, Zimbabwe
Program Manager, Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS)
Building the capacity of African youth to lead the continent’s social and economic progress.
CEO and Founder, Okimo Vision Ltd.
Democratizing access to visual health and inclusive education through the creation of tools that help diagnose and treat visual and development conditions at a fraction of the current market price.
Ana Maria Gonzalez-Forero
Chief Sustainability Officer, Fundación por la Educación Multidimensional (FEM)
Enabling inclusive development in Colombia through participatory planning and design processes that allow diverse stakeholders to find shared fulfillment and mutual recognition in indigenous communities.
Founder and Executive Director, CHANGE
Mobilizing youth leaders to promote environmental preservation through communication, education, and community organizing toward a vision of a green and clean Vietnam protected by all people.
Founder and CEO, Mobdiun – Creative Youth
Inspiring youth to become peaceful and creative change leaders in Tunisia and throughout Africa.
Co-founder and Managing Director, Time Heroes Foundation; Co-founder and Chair of the Board, Fine Acts Foundation
Developing creative solutions and digital tools to inspire civic engagement.
Community Engagement Program Manager, Village Health Works
Improving community cohesion among people of all backgrounds by leveraging communal structures to improve health and economic outcomes.
Ndansi Elvis Nukam
Founder and President, Unite for Health Foundation
Improving access to basic health care in underserved communities in Cameroon.
Lead Partner, BudgIT
Working to simplify budgets and public finance documents to strengthen the capacity of citizens to hold governments accountable.
Co-founder, Freedom Cups
Changing mindsets and making periods a problem of the past by providing women in underprivileged communities with menstrual cups through a “buy one, give one” model.
Founder and CEO, SheSays
Advancing sustainable development through a gender-sensitive and youth-centric approach.