President Obama and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky sit at a small round table, having an engaged conversation with a group of college students pursuing public service.

Shaping the next generation of public service leaders

An increasingly globalized world needs young leaders who can bridge divides and help solve our biggest challenges together.


The Voyager Scholarship was created by the Obamas and Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-founder and CEO, to help shape such leaders. Even though they come from different backgrounds, both the President and Brian believe that exposure to new places and experiences generates understanding, empathy, and cooperation which equips the next generation to create meaningful change.


This scholarship gives college students 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.


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Wednesday, March 22, 2023 3:00 PM CENTRAL TIME

One of the things we believe is that if people of your talent and capacity, if we can make that easier for you both financially, but also through the connections and exposure to new ideas and new cultures that we hope this program gives you then the sky's the limit.”

—President Obama

What the Scholarship provides

Illustration of a student climbing a stairway that leads into an abstracted sky. Each stair is actually the palm of a hand, and the resulting visual metaphor suggests that the student’s ascent is assisted by others.

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.

Illustration of an open suitcase. A winding path starts in the bottom of the suitcase and wends its way into a surreal landscape beyond. A figure walks on the path, heading for distant mountains.

Summer Voyage

Students will receive a $10,000 stipend and Airbnb travel credit 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.

Illustration of a man on a bicycle, riding toward a city on the horizon. The wheels of the bike cast shadows on the ground, in the shape of the number "10."

10-year travel stipend

After graduation, Airbnb will provide the students with a $2,000 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.

Illustration of a circle created by a set of arms that are curved like an embrace. The hands are somewhat separated, creating an opening in the circle through which people enter and greet each other.

Fall Summit

Each fall, students will be invited to a summit to help define and inspire their public service journey.

Illustration shows a network of dots and connected lines. People are working together to connect the dots and with each other.

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.

The world can’t just be driven by technologists, it has to be driven by people that want to make change in the public service sector and we really want to do something to inspire people, support them, and create the next generation of bridge builders.”

—Brian Chesky

Vivid illustration depicts an arched bridge being built across a blue body of water. Two people cross the bridge from opposite sides, carrying the keystones to finish the structure.The arch and its reflection create a complete circle and the optical illusion of a globe that the collaborators stand atop.

What makes a Voyager

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 our 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 is open to students entering their junior year of college at an accredited four-year college or university in the US, who have demonstrated a financial need, and who are US citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients.


Jump to full eligibility requirements.

Learn more about the program

Am I eligible to apply?

Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Plan to enroll full-time in their junior year of study at an accredited four-year college or university in the United States in Fall 2023. Eligible students are:
    1. Finishing sophomore year in Spring 2023. Applicants should be considered “juniors” based on the total number of earned credits at their institution by Fall 2023.
    2. Or transferring from a two-year to a four-year college for their 2023-2024 junior academic year
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent
  • Have demonstrated a commitment to public service
  • Plan to pursue a career in public service upon graduation
  • Be a United States (US) citizen, US permanent resident (holder of a Permanent Resident Card), or an individual granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA)

Applicants must plan to pursue a career in public service—what does that mean?

We have a broad definition of public service, which includes careers in government, non-profits or the private sector. A career in public service includes a range of occupations—from community organizing to social work and from entrepreneurship to the arts—all committed to solving our biggest challenges together.


When will participants be notified of their selection and when will the program begin?

Selected Voyagers will be notified in July and the program will begin in September 2023.


What if I’m not eligible for the Scholarship yet?

To be notified about our future scholarships or Foundation programs, please sign up to receive email updates from the Obama Foundation.


When will the next application cycle open?

We will post information on the website as soon as we have dates for our next application cycle.


I’m an eligible student and I’m having trouble applying or have another question. How can I get in touch?

Please reach out to Scholarship America at [email protected] for support.


More details and FAQs

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