Featured Program: The Voyager Scholarship for Public Service - Scholarship America

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Featured Program: The Voyager Scholarship for Public Service

By Matt Konrad

In an increasingly globalized world, forging connections is more important than ever. To give young people from all backgrounds and perspectives the chance to broaden their horizons, meet new people and build the networks they need to make a difference, President and Mrs. Obama and Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO, have launched the Voyager Scholarship for Public Service, now open for applications. 

The Obamas and Mr. Chesky share the belief that we need to support and nurture the talents of young leaders ready to bridge divides and create meaningful change—and that exposure to new places and experiences creates the understanding, empathy, and connection they need to thrive. 

The Voyager Scholarship will help reduce the burden of college debt so students can afford to go into a career of public service, providing up to $25,000 per year in “last dollar” financial aid for students’ junior and senior years during the two-year program.  

Beyond the financial support, Voyagers will also experience horizon-expanding travel. For the summer between their junior and senior years, the program will allow students to design their own summer journey to gain exposure to new communities and work experience in a chosen field — all supported by a $10,000 stipend and free housing in Airbnb listings.   

Voyagers will also be invited to an annual Summit. At the Fall 2022 Summit, they’ll meet with President Obama, Brian Chesky, and other values-driven leaders to explore a wide-range of entrepreneurial approaches to the public good. Throughout the program, they’ll participate in an ongoing speaker series and fireside chats to learn from and connect with a wide range of leaders across sectors.   

Finally, benefits will continue after graduation: Voyagers will connect with the Obama Foundation’s alumni network, giving them opportunities to network with and learn from alumni from around the world and participate in ongoing programming. And Airbnb will provide Voyagers with an annual travel credit for ten years, so they continue to benefit from travel and exposure to new experiences to create change.  

The two-year scholarship is open to students entering their junior year of college in the United States. You must demonstrate financial need, have a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent) and be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or DACA recipient. Ideal candidates are high potential students of all backgrounds and from all across the country who are eager to serve their communities, but who might not have the same opportunities as others.  

Applicants should share a curiosity about the world around them and a desire to learn from new places and experiences. They should have a demonstrated interest in cultivating community, a passion for helping others, and an expansive view of what’s possible through public service.   

Applications are open through June 14. Apply Now >