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The Program

Leadership and Impact for the Public Good

The Obama Scholars program, inspired and informed by the President’s own experience at Occidental, provides exceptional students from all backgrounds with a carefully crafted set of curated experiences over the course of two years to help propel them toward leadership and impact for the public good. Applied for in the spring of sophomore year and beginning in the summer between sophomore and junior year, the program is designed to enable its Scholars to create lasting and meaningful change.

Program Components and Benefits:

  • All Scholars will participate in the Obama Scholars Seminar during the academic year.

  • All Scholars will participate in a fully-funded 10-week summer program of experiential learning and leadership training. This program will take place the summer after they are selected.

  • Scholars who enter as sophomores will also receive a second summer of funding for an independent internship, research project, or community service opportunity. These opportunities can be domestic or abroad.

  • Scholars will receive mentorship from Obama Scholars faculty advisors and from members of the Obama Scholars Advisory Council.

  • Scholars will have additional networking and leadership development opportunities with partner organizations

  • All Scholars will receive up to $10,000 in postgraduate funding to launch their career in support of the public good. This fellowship can be used to fund graduate school tuition, qualifying living expenses while continuing their studies or working at a first job, or a service project designed by the Scholar.

Students presenting research at the SRP conference
Occidental’s Undergraduate Research Center promotes independent research in all departments.
An Occidental College biology student looks through a microscope
Occidental students study bees from Oxy's Fiji Hill bee hives as part of an investigation of bacterial symbionts in honey bees.
A student working for Tammy Duckworth's campaign as part of Campaign Semester
Occidental student during Campaign Semester, in which he interned for the press team behind Tammy Duckworth's Illinois Senate campaign.
A speaker during Oxy UN Week
Michel Gabaudan, president, Refugees International, gives the keynote speech during UN Week at Occidental. UN Week is sponsored by the Kahane Oxy-at-the-UN Program.