Co-Founder of Airbnb Donates $100 Million to the Obama Foundation to Fund Scholarships

·2 min read
Photo:  Eric Risberg (AP)
Photo: Eric Risberg (AP)

It’s graduation season and the Obama Foundation is ensuring that more kids get their degrees.

Brian Chesky, the CEO and co-founder of Airbnb has donated $100 million to the Obama Foundation to fund scholarships for students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service. The donation is tied with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ donation in November 2021 for the largest donation the foundation has received, according to the Associated Press.

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The scholarship that is being funded is the Voyager Scholarship. It will give $50,000 to rising college juniors to cover their tuition over their next two years in school and a $10,000 grant and Airbnb credit to pay for a summer experience that will be designed by the student.

Recipients will also get $2,000 of Airbnb credit for the next 10 years after they graduate from college.

Former President Barack Obama and Chesky will meet with scholarship recipients at a conference annually to discuss public service and leadership, according to the Associated Press.

In a video announcement, Obama said, “You’re going to find young people from every corner of this country who are going to be future change-makers. There are leaders everywhere. We just have to find them.”

In that same video, Chesky said, “There are young people across the country who have a passion for public service but can’t pursue it because of their student loan debt. We want to help reduce that burden.”

From the Associated Press:

The Voyager Scholarship has opened applications via the website Scholarship America for the first 100 students it will fund. Applicants must be entering their junior year of college at a four-year U.S. university and must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or have a deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. The deadline to apply is June 14. Scholarship America is managing the application process, but the Obama Foundation will select recipients, a spokesperson for the foundation said.

Students must demonstrate a commitment to public service, which the program’s website defines broadly as including “careers in government, nonprofits or the private sector,” including occupations ranging “from community organizing to social work and from entrepreneurship to the arts.”