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The University of Chicago Obama Foundation Scholars Program offers an intensive one-year experience designed to cultivate interdisciplinary approaches to driving social change. Participants embark on this journey at pivotal points in their leadership trajectories, emerging equipped to address complex social challenges and continue their paths of service. Here’s what the program entails:

Program Elements:

  1. In-Person Convenings:
    • Three gatherings held at various stages of the program, including orientation, mid-program sessions, and a graduation program.
  2. Faculty Engagement Seminars:
    • Bi-monthly seminars led by University faculty exploring the foundational concepts underlying social change work.
  3. Virtual Personal and Professional Development Workshops:
    • Twice-monthly sessions led by the Obama Foundation aimed at enhancing storytelling skills, leadership approaches, and personal resilience.
  4. Action-Plan Development:
    • Scholars develop action plans to guide their future career steps and commit to reinvesting newfound skills toward community problem-solving.
  5. Quarterly Civic Treks:
    • Excursions exposing Scholars to Chicago’s civic leaders and community activists tackling pressing social issues.
  6. Quarterly Lunches with Institute of Politics Pritzker Fellows:
    • Exclusive gatherings providing Scholars access to influential figures across various sectors.
  7. University of Chicago Alumni Mentorship:
    • Pairing Scholars with experienced professionals to bridge coursework with real-world challenges.
  8. Obama Foundation Scholar Connections:
    • Networking opportunities with past program participants and access to program-led communities of practice.
  9. Individualized Support:
    • Executive coaching and tailored advice on fundraising and leadership challenges.

Program Requirements:

  • Full participation in all program elements.
  • Commitment to approximately 3 live sessions per month over 9 months.
  • Final year students at the Booth School of Business, Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, or the Harris School of Public Policy.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience and academic success.
  • Clear commitment to addressing social challenges post-program.

Application Process:

  • Application period: January 30 – March 19, 11:59 PM (CST).
  • Online submission of resume, short essays, and two letters of recommendation (requested from finalists).
  • Finalist interviews scheduled for mid-late May.
  • Decisions announced by early July.
  • 🔗 https://shorturl.at/erFTY

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Potential to address societal challenges as civic leaders.
  • Commitment to community impact, academic excellence, and core values.
  • Diversity in backgrounds, issues of focus, and life experiences.

The University of Chicago Obama Foundation Scholars Program invites emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds to join a transformative journey towards driving positive change in their communities and beyond. Apply now and become part of a global network dedicated to advancing equity and social progress.