The Voyager Scholarship was created by the Obamas and Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO, to help shape such leaders. Even though they come from different backgrounds, both the President and Brian believe that exposure to new places and experiences generates understanding, empathy, and cooperation which equips the next generation to create meaningful change.
This scholarship gives college students financial aid to alleviate the burden of college debt, meaningful travel experiences to expand their horizons, and a network of mentors and leaders to support them. Students will receive up to $25,000 per year in “last dollar” 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. 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.
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.
Students will be invited each fall to an annual summit to help define and inspire their public service journey. 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 build community with other Voyagers.
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.