Barack And Michelle Obama Announce $100 Million Scholarship Fund

The Obamas and Brian Chesky Launch Public Service College Scholarship Fund

(Image: Pete Souza)

Former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky are launching a $100 million scholarship fund.

Forbes reports the Voyager Scholarship is for students pursuing careers in public service. The fund will also provide money for multiple years of travel and build students’ connections to a network of leaders.

The scholarship fund is being established with a $100 personal contribution from the Obamas and Chesky and is expected to support 100 students in the first year. If all goes well, the fund will grow to support a larger number of students who want to pursue careers in public service.

Applications for the scholarship will be accepted through June 14. To be eligible, students must be finishing their sophomore year this spring, have a minimum grade point average of 3.0, plan to pursue a career in public service, and be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or a DACA individual.

“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,” Barack Obama said 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.”

Voyager Scholarship students will receive up to $25,000 per year in financial aid for their junior and senior years in college and a $10,000 stipend and free Airbnb housing to pursue a summer work-travel experience between their junior and senior years of college. Students will also design their own summer voyage to gain exposure to new communities and experience in a chosen field.

After Voyager Scholarship students graduate, Airbnb will provide them with a yearly $2,000 travel credit for 10 years, allowing students to broaden their horizons and forge new connections during their public service careers.

Each fall, students will be invited to an annual summit to help define and inspire their public service journey. At this year’s summit, students will meet with Barack Obama and Chesky to discuss the role of empathy and understanding in leadership