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Introduction to the Obama Foundation Scholars Program
The Obama Foundation Scholars Program is a prestigious initiative that seeks to facilitate the development of exceptional young leaders worldwide. Through a comprehensive and immersive year-long academic program, participants are equipped with a diverse range of skills, from innovative thinking to dynamic leadership, fostering a culture of collaboration and growth. The Scholars Program is a unique opportunity for promising individuals to explore their potential and make a meaningful impact on the world.
The program provides participants with the opportunity to develop leadership skills, gain exposure to global challenges, and network with leading professionals from diverse backgrounds. The 2024/2025 program will be held at Columbia University, where participants will engage in a rigorous academic curriculum focused on the themes of leadership, service, and community.
About the Obama Foundation Scholars Program
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 in the city of New York.
Obama Foundation Scholars reside at Columbia World Projects. This new initiative aims to systematically bring university research out into the world in the form of projects that will have a significant and lasting positive impact on people’s lives and will help guide the way to solutions to intractable problems while additionally enriching research and scholarship. Scholars will participate in CWP activities during the academic year.
Upon completion of the program, Obama Foundation Scholars, empowered by their experience, return to the regions where they have been working and continue along a path of service. The purpose of the program is to help Obama Foundation Scholars take the connections and skills they acquire during the program and apply them for the benefit of their communities, countries, and regions. We expect that Obama Foundation Scholars will remain engaged with the Obama Foundation after the program’s conclusion.
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 shape the future of their community positively
- Have a demonstrated commitment to humility, integrity, inclusivity, stewardship, fearlessness, imagination and teamwork
Benefits of the Obama Foundation Scholars Program
- 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 will help scholars gain the real-world skills, tools and experiences to expand the impact of their work when they return home
How to Apply to the Obama Foundation Scholars Program
Aspiring candidates are advised to take note of the deadline for applications, which is December 12, 2023, at 5 p.m. The Obama Foundation Scholars Program is currently welcoming applications from eligible and qualified candidates. Before applying, it is highly recommended that interested individuals take the time to peruse the Obama Foundation Scholars webpage, the FAQ, and the Columbia University webpage for further information and guidance. This will help ensure that you have a clear understanding of the program’s requirements, eligibility criteria, and application process.
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