Public service

Obamas and Airbnb CEO launch $100 million scholarships to civil service colleges


Former President Barack Obama (C) and his family foundation, along with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, have created a $100 million scholarship for college-level juniors and seniors pursuing careers in public service. File photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License picture

May 16 (UPI) — Former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky have launched a $100 million scholarship fund for students looking to pursue careers in public service, it was announced on Monday.

Called the Voyager Fellowship, the Obama-Chesky Fellowship for Public Service, it will fund multiple years of travel and alleviate the college debt burden while helping to connect students to a network of leaders, according to its founders.

Funds must come from Chesky’s personal contribution at the Obama Foundation, according to Airbnb.

Students will be able to receive up to $50,000 in financial aid, a $10,000 stipend and housing through Airbnb as they pursue summer work travel experiences during their junior and senior years, says the scholarship website.

The assistance will go beyond graduation for qualified applicants, with Airbnb offering a $2,000 travel credit each year for a decade, totaling $20,000.

“If we want this next generation of leaders to be able to do what they need to do, they need to meet. They need to know each other. They need to understand each other’s communities,” Obama said in a video of the announcement posted on the Airbnb website.

The scholarship includes an annual fall summit where students will meet with Obama, Chesky and guest speakers “to help define and inspire their journey of public service,” according to the Obama Foundation.

The Voyager Fellowship will be accepting applications until June 14. It is open at approx. 100 studentsand scholarship recipients will be announced in September.