HONOLULU (KHON2) — Former President and Mrs. Obama are joining Airbnb co-founder/CEO Brian Chesky to launch a scholarship for students pursuing careers in public service.
The $100 million scholarship gives college students financial aid, exposure to travel and a network of mentors to support them throughout their careers.
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“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,” former President 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.”
“There are young people across the country who have a passion for public service, but can’t pursue it because of their student loan debt. We want to help reduce that burden,” Chesky added.
The Voyager Scholarship is a two-year program for students in their junior and senior years of college. It’s anticipated to support 100 students in the first year and then scale to support more students over the coming years.
Voyagers will receive:
- Up to $50,000 in financial aid: Students will receive up to $25,000 per year in 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 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: Students will be invited to an annual summit to help define their public service voyage. At the summit this fall, they will meet with President Obama and Brian Chesky to talk about the role of empathy and understanding in leadership. They’ll also hear from guest speakers on different approaches to service and connect with other scholarship recipients.
- 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.
Applications are open to undergraduate students entering their junior year of college at an accredited four-year college or university in the U.S. Applications must be received by June 14. Click here to apply.
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Accepted students will be notified in September.