The Obamas Partner With Airbnb to Launch $100 Million College Scholarship

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Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Barack and Michelle Obama have teamed up with Airbnb Inc. CEO Brian Chesky to launch a scholarship to support college graduates who want to work in the public service sector, Bloomberg reports.

Named the Voyager Scholarship, it aims to reduce student debt and provides a “Summer Voyage” work-travel stipend for those planning to pursue public service after graduation. The Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service has been underwritten with a $100 million gift from Chesky to the Obama Foundation, and is intended “to support 100 students in its first year with plans to expand.” 

Eligible students are those “entering their junior year of college at an accredited four-year college or university in the US, who have demonstrated a financial need, and who are US citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients.”

 President Obama took to Twitter to announce the creation of the scholarship.

“I’m proud to announce the Voyager Scholarship with my friend @bchesky,” his tweet read. “We hope to provide young people with an interest in public service with some financial support to graduate college, exposure to travel, and the networks they need to make a difference.”

Along with $50,000 in financial aid to cover the recipient’s junior and senior year of college, they will also receive a “Summer Voyage” work-travel experience which will include a $10,000 stipend and free Airbnb housing. After graduation, Airbnb will provide the students with a $2,000 travel credit every year for the next 10 years. Also, students will be invited to an annual summit to meet with former President Obama and Chesky and network with other Voyagers every fall. 

“So many people have a passion for public service, but they don’t go into public service because they can’t afford to. They have too much financial burden looming over them,” Chesky said in the announcement video about the purpose of the scholarship.

“We need a generation of leaders who are willing to cooperate and build bridges, but it’s hard to build a bridge if you haven’t seen the other side of the river,” he continued.

Applications are now open and the deadline to apply is June 14. 

For more information, visit www.obama.org/voyager-scholarship.

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