The application for the Obama Foundation Scholars Program for Emerging Leaders is now open. The Obama Foundation Scholars program will give rising leaders from the United States and around the world who are already making a difference in their communities the opportunity to take their work to the next level through an immersive curriculum that brings together academic, skills-based, and hands-on learning.
The Scholars program at Columbia University and the University of Chicago 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, thereby creating a global network that reaches across issues and borders. After completing the program, Obama Foundation Scholars will:
- Return to work on their global issue of focus and implement their personalized action plan to accelerate positive change within their community.
- Have an opportunity to play a role in the Obama Foundation’s efforts to inspire, empower, and connect rising leaders from around the globe.
About Obama Foundation Scholars Program for Emerging Leaders
The Obama Foundation offers a robust curriculum of leadership development, training, networking activities, and customized support throughout the academic year to help the Obama Scholars gain the real-world skills, tools, and experiences they need to expand the impact of their work when they return home. These experiences allow Scholars to gain insights from high-level leaders across sectors and from the wealth of knowledge across the network of Obama Foundation program participants while planning the way they’d like to reinvest their new skills, networks, and knowledge after they graduate from the program.
Foundation-led activities include both cohorts of Scholars, based at UChicago and Columbia, with the aim of creating a broader global community of practice for shared learning to both inform Scholars’ approaches to their own work and accelerate that work as they return to their communities after graduation. Each cohort’s experience is tailored to tap into the rich research ecosystems of these two world-class institutions and the cities where they are based, providing unique and immersive learning opportunities for Scholars in Chicago and New York City.
Key components of the experience led by the Obama Foundation include:
- An orientation program to welcome the cohort to the Obama Foundation community and a concluding graduation program to celebrate the cohort’s achievements and present their action plans.
- Leadership Development Workshops and Conversations designed to improve Scholars’ ability to tell the story of their work, reflect and refine their leadership approach, and build sustained, personal resilience. Through a variety of virtual session formats, Scholars also hear about the innovative solutions coming from the Obama Foundation program participant alumni community and have conversations with high-level thought leaders across sectors.
- Development and refinement of an action plan that draws on their experiences throughout the program, centered around their initiative of focus and their future vision for their work.
- Connections across the growing alumni community, the Foundation facilitates direct connections between current Obama Scholars and prior cohorts, based on their issues of focus.
- Tailored support including an executive coach and strategic communications and fundraising experts to aid Scholars in their action plan development, and their own progression over their leadership journey.
Aim and Benefits of Obama Foundation Masters Scholarship
- 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
The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University seeks rising leaders from the United States and around the world who meet the following criteria:
- Are emerging leaders who have made meaningful contributions to their field and are now at a “breakthrough moment” in their careers
- Have a proven commitment to service and leadership within a community, region, or country 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 fluent in verbal, written, and spoken English
- Have the ability and inclination to positively shape the future of their community
- Have a demonstrated commitment to inclusivity, community-orientation, hope, courage, imagination, strategy, accountability, integrity and resilience
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago (UChicago) Obama Scholars Program is designed for emerging leaders who are at breakthrough points in their leadership journeys and who demonstrate clear potential and a commitment to tackle particular problems in their communities. It is well suited for students who are guided by core values, are committed to advancing equity, are eager to learn and to contribute to others’ learning, possess a spirit of generosity, and have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the common good.
The program seeks emerging leaders from the United States and around the world who meet the following criteria:
- UChicago students entering their final year of study at the Harris School of Public Policy; Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice; and/or the Booth School of Business;
- Have at least 3 years of demonstrated leadership experience with clear traction tackling a particular social challenge and are now at a “breakthrough moment” in their careers;
- Have a demonstrated commitment, following their completion of the program, to apply their enhanced training, skills, and connections to tackling this social challenge in their community;
- Are seeking to refine their approach to tackling this challenge by including feedback and ideas from a variety of contexts around the world;
- Have demonstrated academic success;
- Have a demonstrated commitment to hope, community, courage, resilience, inclusivity, integrity, imagination, strategy, accountability, and empathy; and
- Will not be engaging in an electoral campaign for political office during the program term.
How to Apply
For more details about the program and application details, visit the Obama Foundation Scholars Program’s website.