- Nine HBCU students have received the opportunity of a lifetime as recipients of a scholarship created by the Obamas and the CEO of Airbnb.
- Over the next two years, they will receive up to $50,000 in financial aid, a $10,000 stipend and free Airbnb housing for an internship or travel experience the summer before their senior year, among other things.
- After graduating, the students will receive a $2,000 travel credit every year for 10 years from Airbnb.
Nine HBCU students have received the opportunity of a lifetime as recipients of the Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service, a scholarship created in May by Barack and Michelle Obama and Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb. This week, Airbnb announced the 100 rising college juniors who were chosen for the award out of thousands of applicants who plan to pursue a career in public service.
“I could not be more excited to see the incredible lineup of young people that are going to be kicking off what I hope will be a long-term scholarship program that not only changes your lives but hopefully changes the world,” former President Obama said in a video announcing the scholars.
Students from Alabama State University, Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Morehouse College and North Carolina A&T State University were among the inaugural scholarship cohort.
Over the next two years, they will receive up to $50,000 in financial aid, a $10,000 stipend and free Airbnb housing for an internship or travel experience the summer before their senior year, attendance to a fall summit with the Obamas and access to a network of leaders.
After graduating, the students will receive a $2,000 travel credit every year for 10 years from Airbnb and will be part of the Obama Foundation’s global community, giving them access to the Foundation’s resources and programming.
These are the nine HBCU students who received the scholarship and how they are planning to change the world, as told to the Obama Foundation:
Monet Cook, Howard University
Studying: International Affairs
“I want to focus on health disparities in marginalized communities with a focus on global health–the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the ongoing climate crisis, continues to expose so many inequities in our health care system, and communities of color are often those most affected by these inequities.”
Madysen Forney, Clark Atlanta University
Studying: Political Science
“I plan to focus on equity within health policies — accessibility and quality resources are vital for citizens to lead long and healthy lives in America.”
Juan Johnson, Morehouse College
Studying: Chemistry, Pre-Dental
“My focus is in innovating public health dentistry, sustainability, and technology. I plan to provide quality dental health care access to all people.”
Jheannelle Johnson, Howard University
“I plan to focus on expanding access to culturally competent care for underrepresented backgrounds with the intention of increasing health literacy and decreasing health disparities for communities of color.”
Nicholas Moseley, Alabama State University
Studying: Social Work
“As a social worker, I want to focus on mental health care for low-income families. Unequal access is one major contributor to this disparity, and I want to work in a community where I can provide access for all who need help regardless of their income.”
Siji Opeaiye, North Carolina A&T State University
Studying: Health Services
“I plan to focus on eliminating health disparities and making health equity a norm in lower-income communities. I want to make a positive impact on as many lives as possible by giving back and helping to create more opportunities for everyone.”
Kennedi Roberts, Howard University
Studying: Psychology, minor in Criminology
“I plan to focus on youth incarceration and mental health care. I hope to one day become a clinical psychologist that supports underrepresented youth.”
Lauren Robinson, Howard University
“For my career in public service, I plan to focus primarily on the issue of criminal justice reform. I’ve conducted independent academic research in order to identify trends and devise solutions for the United States’ mass incarceration epidemic, and I want to continue this exploration.”
Porter Alexander Tynes III, Morehouse College
Studying: Business Administration (Management), Minor in Leadership Studies on a Pre-Law track
“I plan to focus on working in the judicial branch. Our judicial arena plays one of the most pivotal roles in our government, and by learning the ropes by interning with a judicial officer or judge, I will be well equipped.”