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Obamas, Airbnb CEO Launch New Scholarship

May 17, 2022

The Obama Foundation and Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky announced a new scholarship Monday to support students pursuing public service careers and provide them with travel opportunities.

“If we want this next generation of leaders to be able to do what they need to do, they have to meet each other,” former president Barack Obama said in a video discussing the scholarship. “They have to know each other. They have to understand each other’s communities.”

The two-year program, called the Voyager Scholarship, is available to college juniors and seniors. Students will receive up to $25,000 in financial aid per year while in the program, plus a $10,000 stipend and free Airbnb housing to spend a summer working abroad. Once they graduate, participants can spend $2,000 on travel per year for 10 years to enhance their public service work. Students can also attend a speaker series to connect with leaders in related fields.

The scholarship is funded by a $100 million donation from Chesky to the Obama Foundation.

“I think so many people have a passion for public service, but they don’t go into public service because they can’t afford to,” Chesky said in the video. “They have too much financial burden looking over them.”

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