Obama, Airbnb's Brian Chesky launch $100M in scholarships

The co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, has donated $100 million to the Obama Foundation to fund scholarships for students pursuing careers in public service and includes multiple stipends for travel

Via AP news wire
Monday 16 May 2022 18:05
Philanthropy-Obama-Airbnb-Scholarship
Philanthropy-Obama-Airbnb-Scholarship

The co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, has donated $100 million to the Obama Foundation to fund scholarships for students pursuing careers in public service and includes multiple stipends for travel.

The Voyager Scholarship will grant $50,000 to rising juniors to cover tuition costs over two years as well as a $10,000 grant and Airbnb credit to fund a summer experience designed by the student. Scholarship winners will also get an Airbnb credit worth $2,000 a year for 10 years after their graduation, which is in addition to Chesky's donation a foundation spokesperson 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," former President Barack Obama said in a video announcement Monday. He and Chesky will meet with scholarship recipients at an annual conference to talk about service and leadership.

Travel engenders curiosity and cooperation, Chesky said, acknowledging that many students face financial burdens that discourage them from entering professions or fields oriented toward service.

“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,” Chesky said. "We want to help reduce that burden.”

Chesky's donation is the largest the Obama Foundation has received, tied with a $100 million donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in November.

Some 43 million Americans carry student loans worth $1.6 trillion, according to federal figures. President Joe Biden promised to cancel $10,000 in federal student debt per person while campaigning but has not yet done so. He said in April that he is continuing to study what action to take on student loans.

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.”

Chesky is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has spoken about his unexpected path to becoming an entrepreneur. Airbnb went public in December 2020 with a valuation of over $100 billion, a major comeback after its business was badly impacted by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chesky has signed a pledge to give the majority of his wealth away during his lifetime.

The Obama Foundation has recently funded community organizations working to close opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color as well as to fund girls' education, according to its 2020 tax filings.

___

Associated Press coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in