Obama Chesky Scholarship Guide: Your Pathway to Educational Opportunity

The Obama-Chesky Scholarship, a collaboration between the Obama Foundation and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, represents an ambitious effort to support the next generation of leaders. Recognizing the importance of global perspective and exposure to different communities, this scholarship aims to empower college students with financial aid, travel experiences, and a powerful network of mentors. The scholarship underscores the belief that exposure to diverse environments and cultures fosters empathy and understanding, which are key for individuals aspiring to impact public service sectors positively.


Aimed at college juniors in the United States, the Obama-Chesky Scholarship provides financial assistance, travel stipends, and a summer voyage to broaden students’ horizons. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to public service, as well as meet academic and character requirements. By reducing financial barriers and offering unique experiential learning, the scholarship opens doors for motivated students to pursue careers that contribute to the common good.

Key Takeaways

  • Financial support and travel opportunities form core benefits of the Obama-Chesky Scholarship.
  • Academic excellence and dedication to public service are critical for eligibility.
  • The application includes showcasing personal achievements and outlining commitment to societal impact.

Overview of the Obama-Chesky Scholarship

The Obama-Chesky Scholarship represents an innovative partnership aimed at empowering the next generation of leaders through financial support and travel opportunities. It’s designed to foster public service and leadership.

Purpose and Vision

The Voyager Scholarship, also known as the Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service, is a program initiated by the collaboration between the Obama Foundation and Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb. Its purpose is to support students who are committed to public service by providing them with financial aid, travel experiences, and networking opportunities. The vision is clear: to inspire and equip young leaders with the necessary skills and global perspective to drive change and innovation in their communities and around the world.

Key Figures: Barack Obama and Brian Chesky

Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, through their Obama Foundation, recognize the significance of leadership development. Brian Chesky brings to the table his entrepreneurial acumen and commitment to innovation. Together, they contribute to the scholarship’s ethos of encouraging societal contributions, making the program a testament to their shared belief in the transformative power of leadership and travel on young minds.

Eligibility Criteria


The Voyager Scholarship, also known as the Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service, sets forth specific eligibility criteria designed to identify and select students committed to public service. These criteria ensure that the scholarship is awarded to individuals who show promise in making significant contributions to their communities and society at large.

Qualifying Education Level

  • Current Academic Standing: Candidates must be completing their sophomore year in the spring semester prior to the fall for which they are seeking the scholarship.
  • Educational Progression: They should be planning to enroll full-time in their junior year at an accredited four-year college or university within the United States.

Financial Need and Merit

  • GPA Requirement: A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent, is necessary to apply.
  • Merit and Service: Applicants must have a demonstrable track record of commitment to public service, and the intent to pursue a career in the sector post-graduation.

Residency Requirements

  • Citizenship: Applicants need to be either U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents, which includes individuals with a Permanent Resident Card.
  • DACA: Candidates may also be individuals granted deferred action status under the DACA Program.

Scholarship Benefits

The Obama-Chesky Scholarship, also known as the Voyager Scholarship, offers substantial support to college students aiming to make a difference through public service. It not only provides financial assistance but also unique opportunities to travel, gain work experience, and build a community within a global network of leaders and mentors.

Financial Aid Components

The scholarship significantly eases the financial burden of higher education by providing recipients with up to $50,000 over the course of their college career. This financial aid is divided between tuition fees and a stipend, ensuring that Voyager Scholars can focus on their studies and career aspirations without the stress of overwhelming debt.

Travel and Work Opportunities

A hallmark of the Voyager Scholarship is the Summer Voyage, which provides a travel stipend for scholars to study abroad or pursue a service project. They also benefit from free Airbnb housing credits to lower accommodation costs during their travels. Additionally, recipients convene at the annual Fall Summit, where they engage in developmental work and leadership activities alongside a network of professionals.

Community and Networking

Scholars become part of an inspiring network of leaders and mentors throughout their educational journey and beyond. This network, along with organized events and support systems, helps them to forge valuable connections, gain mentorship, and access a broad range of resources throughout their public service pursuits.

Application Process

The application process for the Obama-Chesky Scholarship requires careful attention to the submission of specific documents, adherence to a strict selection timeline, and a conclusive interview and selection stage. Applicants must ensure accuracy and completeness when providing financial and academic details to qualify for consideration.

Submission Documents

Applicants must submit a comprehensive application that includes their academic transcript, demonstrating a minimum GPA of 3.0. It is imperative they attach financial information to affirm need, which may include tax forms from recent years. A personal video submission is also a mandatory element of the application package, providing insight into the applicant’s dedication to public service.

Selection Timeline

The selection process is bound by a timeline that applicants should monitor closely. Applications typically open in early spring, with an initial submission deadline usually set a few months later. Those who progress to the next phase will be notified accordingly, with each step, from document review to interviews, adhering to scheduled dates.

Interview and Selection

Candidates who successfully advance past the document review phase will be invited for an interview. This stage assesses the applicant’s commitment to public service through a series of questions designed to elicit their motivation and vision. Grades, experience, and financial need are factored into the final decision-making process, ensuring that recipients are those who will benefit significantly from the scholarship’s offerings.

Scholarship Experience

The Obama-Chesky Scholarship, also known as the Voyager Scholarship, offers recipients a comprehensive journey with unique opportunities focusing on building a global community of leaders equipped with the experience, skills, and networks necessary to forge a career in the public service field.

Annual Summit Participation

Each year, Voyager Scholars are invited to partake in an Annual Summit that assembles students with a passion for public service from various backgrounds. This gathering is designed to facilitate networking, foster leadership potential, and encourage collaboration among future public service leaders. Attendees gain the rare chance to engage with established leaders across different sectors, gathering insights and inspiration for their prospective careers.

Summer Work-Travel Experience

The scholarship program introduces a distinctive Summer Work-Travel Experience, allowing scholars to immerse themselves in new cultures and develop a broad perspective critical for addressing global challenges. Scholars receive financial support to cover travel-related expenses, which emphasizes the program’s commitment to alleviating financial barriers that might otherwise prevent such valuable global travel experiences.

Leadership and Entrepreneurship Training

Voyager Scholarship underscores the importance of practical leadership and entrepreneurship training as part of its offered experiences. Scholars receive mentorship and educational resources aimed at enhancing their ability to lead and innovate within their chosen fields. Programs are tailored to instill skills such as effective communication, project management, and critical problem-solving — all essential competencies for future leaders in public service.

Commitment to Public Service

The Voyager Scholarship, established by Barack Obama and Brian Chesky, is designed to support students who are deeply invested in the realm of public service. It seeks individuals who exhibit a powerful resolve to contribute to society through various sectors, including non-profit, government, and potentially, the private sector.

Scholar Expectations

Scholars are expected to maintain a strong academic performance with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to serving the public. Through the Voyager Scholarship program, recipients must engage in a leadership program that hones their ability to lead and make a difference in their chosen field of public service.

Career Development

The career path for scholars typically involves pivotal roles in non-profit organizations or government agencies. They are encouraged to leverage their education and the Voyager Scholarship’s resources to forge impactful careers in service to the public. Educational support extended by the program ensures they are well-equipped for the complex challenges they may face in their career journey.

Impact and Contribution

Scholars are not only anticipated to perform in their roles effectively but also to drive substantial impact in their service areas. Whether their future lies within local communities or on a broader, perhaps nationwide scale, their work is seen as a catalyst for change. The Obama-Chesky Scholarship reinforces the belief that these individuals will be at the forefront of meaningful contribution and leadership in public service.

Frequently Asked Questions


This segment addresses common inquiries surrounding the Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship, providing vital information for prospective applicants.

What are the acceptance rates for the Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship?

The acceptance rate for the Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship is not publicly disclosed. However, it is a competitive program selecting 100 scholars annually.

Who were the recent recipients of the Obama Voyager Scholarship?

Information about recent recipients of the Obama Voyager Scholarship can typically be found on the websites of scholarship partners or the Obama Foundation. Details are updated following the completion of each annual selection process.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Obama Foundation Scholarships?

Eligibility requirements for the Obama Foundation Scholarships include being a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or DACA recipient. Applicants must be engaged in public service and planning to use their education to bring about positive change.

How can one apply for the Voyager Scholarship in 2023?

To apply for the Voyager Scholarship in 2023, candidates should visit the official website or the financial aid offices of participating institutions to access application information and deadlines.

Is the Obama Scholarship at ASU considered a full scholarship?

The Obama Scholarship at ASU provides financial assistance that covers the cost of attendance, including tuition, books, and housing; hence, it can be considered a comprehensive support package.

Are there specific scholarships offered by the Obama Foundation for International students?

While the Obama Foundation offers an array of scholarships for diverse applicants, the offerings and eligibility for international students vary by program and should be verified directly through the foundation’s website or scholarship announcements.

Helpful Resources

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