Chicago / New York, USA

Program

Education

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Details

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program will give rising young leaders around the world who are already making a difference in their communities the opportunity to take their work to the next level through a newly designed curriculum that brings together academic, skills-based, and hands-on learning. The Scholars Program empowers individuals with a proven commitment to service with the tools they need to make their efforts more effective, to identify innovative solutions to complex global problems, and promote change through values-based leadership.

The program will build lasting relationships among emerging leaders who are committed to working together to solve the most pressing challenges of our time, creating a global network that reaches across issues and borders. After completing the program, Obama Foundation Scholars will return to their communities and continue the important work they started in the program by implementing their own personalized action plan. They will also have an opportunity to play a role in the Obama Foundation’s efforts to inspire, train, and connect rising leaders from around the globe.

Columbia University

Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University will participate in Columbia World Projects, a new initiative in which faculty and researchers from Columbia will partner with governments, nonprofits, the private sector, and intergovernmental organizations to create tangible solutions to real-world issues. The program will also take advantage of the unique opportunities for engagement that come with being at one of the world’s most important centers of research and in the city of New York.

In addition to classroom studies, the Obama Foundation will offer a robust program of leadership development throughout the academic year to help both cohorts of Scholars gain the real-world skills, networks, tools, and experiences to expand the impact of their work when they return home.

University of Chicago

Obama Foundation Scholars at the University of Chicago will earn a Master of Arts degree focused on International Development and Policy at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. In addition to classroom studies, the Obama Foundation will offer a robust program of leadership development and service activities throughout the academic year to help Scholars gain the real-

Criteria

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University seeks rising leaders from around the world who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a proven commitment to service and leadership within a community, region or country outside the United States, coupled with a demonstrated commitment to return to these communities following their completion of the program and apply their enhanced training, skills and connections on a long-term basis for the benefit of these communities
  •  Are emerging leaders who have made meaningful contributions to their field and are now at a “tipping point” in their careers
  •  Are fluent in English (verbal, written and spoken)
  •  Have the ability and inclination to positively shape the future of their community
  •  Have a demonstrated commitment to humility, integrity, inclusivity, stewardship, fearlessness, imagination and teamwork

Benefits

  • Monthly stipend to assist with living expenses in New York City
  •  A furnished studio apartment within walking distance of Columbia University
  •  All tuition and fees for up to four courses at Columbia University
  •  Basic medical, dental and life insurance for the duration of the program
  •  Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities
  •  Leadership development programming led by the Obama Foundation that will help scholars gain the real-world skills, tools and experiences to expand the impact of their work when they return home 

About The Obama Foundation

The Obama Foundation is guided by a core belief: that ordinary people working together can change history. It's mission is to inspire those people to take action, empower them to change their world for the better, and connect them so they can achieve more together than they can alone.

The Obama Foundation was founded by community organisers, so when it seeks change, it does it by bringing people together.

That approach begins at home, on the South Side of Chicago, where it is building the Obama Presidential Center. The Obama Presidential Center represents a historic opportunity for Chicago: a chance to build a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates USA's first African American President and First Lady, steps away from where he began his career, where she was raised, and where—together—they made their home.

But that approach extends to all their work, whether it’s holding leadership training sessions in communities throughout the U.S., bringing local leaders together in countries around the world, working to support the global education of girls, or ensuring young men of color have pathways to opportunity.