Shae Murphy, a third-year student in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a recipient of the prestigious Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service, known as the Voyager Scholarship.
Created by former President Obama and Mrs. Obama, along with Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, the award enables young scholars to create meaningful change in the world.
Murphy studies neuroscience and global health at Northwestern, and she says the scholarship will support her efforts to observe women’s healthcare in other nations, assess different approaches and eventually implement better methods in the American healthcare system.
“My passion is women’s health,” Murphy said. “This topic is talked about frequently in the U.S., but it is still extremely understudied, which causes additional fear and risks for women.”
The Voyager Scholarship will provide Murphy up to $50,000 in financial aid to cover the cost of her third and fourth years in college and a $10,000 stipend and free Airbnb housing to pursue summer work-travel before her senior year. The award also will enable Murphy to finish college debt-free and focus on a service-oriented career to help others.
“By supplying me funds to design a personalized experience abroad next summer, I’ll have the opportunity to get a well-rounded undergraduate experience and expand my knowledge about health disparities across different countries, a goal I didn’t think was possible,” she said.
The 2023-2025 cohort of 100 Voyagers represent 33 states and territories, as well as 74 colleges and universities. Once recipients graduate, Airbnb also provides a $2,000 travel credit every year for 10 years, totaling $20,000 as they continue to broaden their horizons and forge new connections throughout their public service careers.
“The Voyager Scholarship offers an unparalleled network of other scholarship winners, mentors and public service leaders to guide me and make both my summer voyage and career as meaningful as possible,” Murphy said. “As a woman in STEM, it can be difficult to make my voice heard. With the help of this scholarship, I feel like I can think bigger about my future and impact as many lives as possible.”
Learn more about the Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship by contacting Northwestern’s Office of Fellowships.