The Voyager Scholarship fund is a new joint venture by the Obamas and Airbnb founder Brian Chesky, built on Chesky’s $100M donation.
“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,” Obama said in a video announcement about the formation of the scholarship fund.
And the Voyager scholarship is meant for just that. Available to college students with a public service career in mind and about to enter their junior year, the scholarship includes:
Up to $25,000 in ‘last dollar’ financial aid per year for two years, meaning that it will cover costs after all other scholarships and aid, up to that amount. The goal is to ensure these students graduate without debt. Student debt is a large reason why few college graduates want public sector jobs.
A $10,000 stipend and free housing (via Airbnb) for a summer work-travel experience between their junior and senior year of college. Scholarship hopefuls will design their Summer Voyage as part of their application process, and should focus on exposing themselves to communities outside their current lifestyle, along with experience in their future field.
Ten years of travel stipend. After graduation, each scholarship recipient will have a $2,000 travel credit with Airbnb each year for ten years, to continue to allow them to travel, network, and broaden their experience.
Brian Chesky’s donation is tied with a November donation from Jeff Bezos for the largest ever received by the Obama Foundation, which has many pro-education, pro-equity, and pro-public sector goals.
Applications for the first 100 students to receive the Voyager scholarship are open now through June 14. Students will be chosen by the Obama Foundation based on their commitment to public service, in any applicable form.