The Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service

The Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service
Liz Montenegro

The Voyager Scholarship was implemented by the Obamas in partnership with Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, who donated $100 million to this program. The mission of this scholarship is to help students pursue careers in public service and solve some of our world’s greatest challenges. The Voyager Scholarship provides students access to education and travel opportunities to help expand their horizons and bring about significant change. During this scholarship’s first year, and it is estimated that 100 college juniors will receive up to $50,000 to cover tution and educational expenses, plus up to $30,000 in international travel stipends and credits. Recipients have the option to renew as seniors.

In this program, public service is broadly defined. It can include careers in government, non-profit, or the private sector. Students who are working toward a socially impactful career in education, social work, journalism, design, the arts, and even entrepreneurship will be considered. Applications close on June 14, 2022.

Who is eligible?

Eligible students for the Voyager Scholarship are those who are finishing sophomore year this spring or transferring to a four-year college for their junior year this fall, and plan to study full-time at an accredited four-year college or university in the United States in Fall 2022. Applicants must have financial need and demonstrated a commitment to public service through volunteering or active community involvement. Finally, students should be planning to pursue a career in public service after college graduation. United States citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or individuals under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) are eligible to apply.

What is included in the Voyager Scholarship?

Voyagers will receive up to $50,000 in “last dollar” financial aid. During students’ junior and senior years, this scholarship will provide up to $25,000 after all other financial aid programs have been applied, so that any remaining tuition, fees, or living expenses will be covered. By filling these gaps, students can begin their public service career free from student debt after graduation.

This fall, Voyagers will be invited to an annual Fall Summit, which will include a meeting with President Obama, Brian Chesky, and other global leaders. Students will have the opportunity to network with fellow Voyagers to build lasting relationships in their field and beyond. They will also participate in a workshop that is focused on creating plans for their Summer Voyage.

During the summer between their junior and senior year of college, each Voyager receives a $10,000 allotment to design their own Summer Voyage. Students can choose a mentorship or internship anywhere in the world to help prepare them for their public service career. Students will be able to use credits provided by Airbnb for their lodging. This benefit even continues after college graduation, where Airbnb will provide Voyagers with a $2,000 travel credit each year for 10 years (totaling $20,000), giving students the chance to continue making a global impact throughout their careers in public service. President Obama and Brian Chesky firmly believe by discovering new places and experiences, we broaden our worldviews and think more innovatively while solving society's biggest challenges.

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