Obama Voyager Scholarship

An increasingly globalized world needs young leaders who can bridge divides and help solve our biggest challenges together.

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.

Eligibility

Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Plan to enroll full-time in their junior year of study at an accredited four-year college or university in the United States in Fall 2022. Eligible students are:
    1. Finishing sophomore year in Spring 2022
    2. Or transferring from a two-year to a four-year college for their 2022-2023 junior academic year
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent
  • Have demonstrated a commitment to public service
  • Plan to pursue a career in public service upon graduation
  • Be a United States (US) citizen, US permanent resident (holder of a Permanent Resident Card), or an individual granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA)

The Voyager Scholarship has a broad definition of public service, which includes careers in government, non-profits or the private sector. A career in public service includes a range of occupations—from community organizing to social work and from entrepreneurship to the arts—all committed to solving our biggest challenges together.

Award

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.

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.

Application

The online application is available for the Voyager Scholarship.

Deadline(s)

The inaugural deadline for the Voyager Scholarship is June 14, 2022.

Details

Class Year

  • Sophomore

Discipline

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Health
  • Humanities
  • International Affairs
  • Public Affairs/Government
  • Social Sciences
  • STEM
  • Multiple

Language

  • English

Duration

  • Other

Program Type

  • Public Service

Region

  • North America

GWU Sponsored?

No

GWU Endorsement Required?

No