The Voyager Scholarship, also known as the Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service, was established by former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky to help develop the next generation of public service leaders. It offers up to $50,000 in last-dollar financial help for students’ junior and senior years of undergraduate study. Both the President and Brian, although coming from different backgrounds, think that opening oneself up to new environments and experiences fosters understanding, empathy, and cooperation, which empowers the next generation to effect genuine change.
Voyager scholars have access to a broad network of leaders and mentors, as well as an invitation to a fall conference where they will have the opportunity to meet with Obama and Chesky to explore the significance of empathy and understanding in leadership.
Young leaders who can cross barriers and work with us to overcome our biggest difficulties are needed in a society that is becoming more and more international.
This program provides financial aid to help students pay off their school loans, enriching travel opportunities to broaden their perspectives, and a network of leaders and mentors to support them.
Level/Field of Study
The Voyager Scholarship is open to students in their sophomore year intending to study any of the following courses at the university.
- International Affairs
- Public Affairs/Government
- Social Sciences
This scholarship is brought to you by the partnership between the Obama Foundation and Airbnb. Both organisations are based in America.
Eligibility for Voyager Scholarship
The following are criteria that must be met in order to have your application for the Voyager scholarship considered
- possess a permanent residence card, be a citizen of the United States (US), or be a person who has been given deferred action status by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).
- be enrolled full-time and entering their junior year of study at an authorized four-year college or university in the United States.
- possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or something comparable.
- have proven their dedication to public service.
- After graduation, prepare to pursue a career in public service.
- Plan to start their junior year of study full-time in the fall of 2023 at an accredited four-year college or university in the United States. Students who qualify are:
- completing the second year in spring 2023
- or switching to a four-year college from a two-year institution
Requirements to Apply for Voyager Scholarship
- Information about the school, employment, public service, leadership program experience, and other activities
- Brief description of your public service route (maximum of 250 characters): If you are chosen as a Voyager Scholarship recipient, please tell us about the subject or field you want to investigate during the program.
- 2-minute video about the subject: What makes you optimistic about the future? How does public service fit into your future vision? What role do connection and understanding play in this vision? How would this program be beneficial?
- Essays with a maximum of 500 characters
- What would you like to focus on during your Summer Voyage if you are chosen as a Voyager Scholarship recipient? What do you hope to learn? How may travel and new experiences help with these objectives?
- When was the last time your viewpoint shifted? Who or what changed your mind? How has this influenced the type of effect you hope to make in the future?
- What values inspire you? What did you learn from your trials, and how did those ideals drive you?
- Tell us about a time in your life when you brought about positive change in a community. Describe your experience: What issue did you resolve? What community did you serve? What was the outcome? What impact did this encounter have on your perception of public service?
- Please detail how and when any exceptional familial or personal situations impacted your academic performance, career experience, or engagement in school and community activities.
- Additional essays: maximum of 1000 characters
- What problem do you want to solve? How would the world be different if it were solved? How would you tackle this problem through collaboration, innovation, and a shared vision? How are you already making an impact?
- What do you hope to accomplish one year after graduation, based on the vision you stated in your previous response? What does success look like five years after graduation? How will you collaborate with others to complete this task?
- Financial data
You must also include the following in your application:
- A current, complete grade transcript. No grade reports will be accepted. Transcripts must include:
- Student name
- School name
- Grades and credit hours for each course
- Term in which each course was taken
- A copy of pages one and two of the most recently filed 1040 form, which was utilized to complete the application’s financial part.
- Please provide financial details and the tax form from your parent(s) or guardian if you are listed as a dependent (s).
- If you are self-employed, please provide financial details as well as the tax form for yourself.
Deadline for Voyager Scholarship
The Voyager Scholarship closes its application portal in June 2023.
- Payments of up to $50,000 are available.
- The students will get a $2,000 travel credit from Airbnb per year for ten years following graduation, for a total of $20,000.
- Each fall, a summit will be held for students to help define and be inspired by their path toward public service.
- Students will be granted access to a network of leaders by being invited to a regular speaker series throughout the course of the program. After graduating, students will become a part of the global community of the Obama Foundation, which will make Foundation resources and programming available to them.
- Furthermore, applicants receive a $10,000 stipend and free Airbnb housing to pursue a work-travel experience known as a voyage during the summer between their junior and senior years. The cruise is intended to help students broaden their perspectives and explore opportunities in public service.
Applicants with little or no prior involvement in other leadership programs throughout their undergraduate studies may be given preference. For consideration for the program, students must demonstrate a need for financial aid.
No family member of any employee, consultant, officer, director, or member of the selection committee for the scholarship, including those who work for the Obama Foundation, is allowed to apply.
How to Apply for Voyager Scholarship
Please visit the link below to apply. The eligibility requirements and necessary paperwork are posted on that website as well.