The Obama Foundation and Columbia University are inviting applications for the 2021-22 The Obama Foundation Scholarship Program.
About the Program
The Obama Foundation Scholars Program will give rising leaders from the US 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 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 Obama Foundation and Columbia University continue to monitor the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to hold the program on-site in New York City for the 2021-2022 academic year if it is safe to do so. However, there is a possibility the program will be conducted remotely and Scholars will not reside in New York City.
Rising leaders from around the world who:
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 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
Monthly stipend to assist with living expenses in New York City
A furnished studio apartment within walking distance of Columbia University, if the program is able to convene in person
All tuition and fees for up to four courses at Columbia University
Basic medical, dental, and life insurance for the duration of the program in New York City, if the program is able to convene in person
Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities, if the program is able to convene in person
Complete online application form: Complete the online application form for the 2021-2022 by February 5, 2021, at 5:00 PM ET. Any applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
Resume/curriculum vitae: Chronological listing of your employment and academic history, and other significant activities, including any awards, publications, or other achievements․
Personal video statement: A short video (no longer than 3 minutes in length) introducing the applicant and their work to the selection committee. Applicants will upload their video statement to a video hosting service, like YouTube or Vimeo, and will include a link to their video in the online application. Additional information on the requirements for the personal video statement can be found in the online application.
Responses to short essay questions: The short essay questions help the selection committee understand the applicant’s work, their motivation, and how the program fits into their career trajectory. Applicants will submit their essay questions in the online application.
Proof of English proficiency: Applicants whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting scores from one of four exams:
The internet-based or paper-based exams of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL);
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS);
The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic); or
The Duolingo English Test (DET).
No other exams will be accepted.
Two letters of recommendation: Two letters of recommendation are required from individuals who are familiar with the applicant and the applicant’s work in an academic, professional, or community service setting. Recommendations should directly address the applicant’s suitability for admission to the Obama Foundation Scholars Program. Recommendations should not be written by family members or friends.
Note: Please read the complete details by clicking here, before submitting the online form.
February 5, 2021, by 5 PM [Tuesday, Eastern Time (ET)] 3:30 am Wednesday, Indian Standard Time (IST)
Important Note: The Obama Foundation and Columbia University continue to monitor the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hoped to hold the program on-site in New York City for the 2021-2022 academic year if it is safe to do so. However, there is a possibility the program will be conducted remotely and Scholars will not reside in New York City.
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