Obama Launches New Scholarship Program

By Erika Hanson | 1 month ago

Obama scholarship

It is not uncommon for well-known names to pledge donations to scholarship funds that send money to students to pay for their college debt. However, it is rare to see these initiatives take things a step further, planting seeds for the future of college students’ success after they graduate from college. To this, a new Obama scholarship was just announced, and its efforts are looking to make a change in the future of public service leadership careers.

Barron’s reported that the former President of the United States and the co-founder of Airbnb have created a new scholarship program for college juniors and seniors that are seeking careers in the public service field from accredited colleges. The innovative Obama scholarship was fully funded by Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, as he donated the funds to the Obama Foundation. The joint effort is said to be worth a price tag of $100 million. 

The Obama scholarship is being called the Voyager scholarship by Obama and Chesky. Its objective is not only to ameliorate burdening college debt for students but also to support them after they join the workforce. The effort will contain various components. One part will pay the selected college students $50,000 in financial aid. $10,000 will go to a stipend to fund a summer-work travel program, including a $2,000 travel credit each year for 10 years. Similarly, it will provide various prospects for networking.

Each year, the program will select 100 undergraduate students entering into their junior or senior year of college at an accredited four-year college or university within the United States. The Obama scholarship has already launched and will expect participants for the next school year. Submissions are now open until June 14th, and the accepted students will be announced in September.

Furthermore, the Obama scholarship recipients will get the opportunity to meet both President Obama and Chesky each year during an annual summit involving a series of networking events. This year, that summit will be held sometime in the fall, and the college students will get the chance to discuss “empathy and understanding” in leadership roles. 

Chesky is well known for humanitarian efforts like this one with the Obama scholarship. The 40-year-old has a current net worth of around $9.1 billion, making him the 220th richest person in the globe. Previously, he signed a Giving Pledge vowing to donate most of his wealth to charitable causes. In the past years, he has contributed to various disaster and relief efforts, including a hefty $10 million benefaction to COVID-19 relief causes. Having a deep connection with college students, Chesky addressed the fact that many young people throughout the nation are often unable to pursue their desire to work in public service, largely because of crippling student loan debt. “We want to help reduce the burden,” the business mogul said.

When announcing the Obama scholarship, the 44th president called college students seeking public service degrees “future change makers,” asserting the need for the program. Public service jobs have proven more important than ever after the onset of the COVID-pandemic, but many worry about the future of America, as reports show that the number of Americans seeking jobs in these sectors is diminishing. Efforts like this one, hope to make a dent in that.