Former President Barack Obama has created a scholarship in conjunction with Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO, to encourage young people to enter public service. The award offers financial aid to help relieve the burden of college debt, opportunity to travel, and a network of mentors and leaders to support scholarship recipients.
The Voyager Scholarship, officially called The Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service, wants young leaders to be able to get out and travel the world, and to have experiences that generate empathy and cooperation. The hope is that such people will be able to “bridge divides and help solve our biggest challenges together.”
For a young leader who wants to pursue a career in public service, winning the scholarship will get him or her off to a great start. The scholarship provides up to $50,000 in financial aid- as much as $25,000 per year in financial aid for junior and senior years of college.
After graduation, Airbnb will give the students $20,000 divided into a $2,000 travel credit every year for 10 years. Each fall, the students will attend an annual summit to help define and inspire their public service journey. This fall, the first leaders will be President Obama and Chesky who will discuss the role of empathy and understanding in leadership.
Throughout the program, students will be invited to an ongoing speaker series to gain exposure to new areas of service and innovations happening in their fields. After graduation, they get to join the Obama Foundation’s global community, and make use of Foundation resources and programming.
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. Applications are due June 14.