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Obamas, Airbnb CEO launch $100M in public service college scholarships

By Ashley Williams
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Obamas, Airbnb CEO launch $100M in public service college scholarships
Former President Barack Obama (C) and his family foundation, along with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, have created a $100 million scholarship geared toward college-level juniors and seniors pursuing public service careers. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

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 college students interested in pursuing public service careers, it was announced Monday.

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

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The funds are to come from Chesky's personal contribution to 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 via Airbnb as they pursue summer work-travel experiences during their junior and senior years, the scholarship website outlines.

Assistance will go beyond graduation for qualified applicants, with Airbnb offering a $2,000 travel credit every 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 have to meet each other. They have to know each other. They have to understand each other's communities," Obama said in a video of the announcement posted to Airbnb's website.

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

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The Voyager Scholarship will accept applications through June 14. It is open to approximately 100 students, and scholarship recipients will be announced in September.

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