Highline High School class of 2020 alum Katarina Quach recently got accepted into the inaugural cohort of the Obama-Chesky Voyager scholars at Boston University.
Quach is majoring in public relations and minoring in visual arts, and is scheduled to graduate from BU in May, 2024.
In 2020, she was awarded a scholarship from the Highline High School Alumni Foundation.
She told The B-Town Blog that she chose Boston U on a whim.
“I worked at the Seattle Art Museum in high school, and one of my best friends and I were both recommended to present at a panel in Boston at the Institute of Contemporary Art,” she said. “The panel was on teen programs in museum spaces, and we got to spend the weekend exploring Boston. The two supervisors who came with us actually both went to college in Boston, one going to Boston University and the other going to Boston College. I stood in front of Marsh Chapel, the chapel in the center of BU’s campus, and decided at that point in time that I would be applying to go there because I had no idea where I wanted to go otherwise. It also worked because they have robust programming for Communications, where I’m currently majoring in public relations.”
Like any other college student, this scholarship lifts a ton of weight off Quach’s shoulders.
“I spent a lot of time in high school, especially my time in ASB, talking about how I wanted to be a voice for the students who weren’t heard, and how I wanted to be someone that people could look to in terms of seeing someone who was like them or at the least someone who related/understood them,” she said. “And now I get to pursue that kind of work, and I feel supported, recognized, and encouraged on so many levels. Also knowing that I’m not going to be in (crushing) debt for attending a private institution in an expensive city is a huge relief. The opportunity to travel and build connections and communities is also intensely valuable to me, as I’ve always wanted to see and experience more of the world.”
In addition to studying, Quach is currently working at the Newbury Center on BU’s campus as an undergraduate office assistant.
Here’s more info on the Obama-Chesky Voyager scholarship:
Up to $50,000 in financial aid
Students will receive up to $25,000 per year in “last dollar” financial aid for their junior and senior years of college. This financial aid should alleviate the burden of college debt so that students can afford to pursue a career in public service.
Students will receive a $10,000 stipend and free Airbnb housing to pursue a summer work-travel experience between their junior and senior year of college. The students will design their own Summer Voyage to gain exposure to new communities and experience in a chosen field.
10-year travel stipend
After graduation, Airbnb will provide the students with a $2,000 travel credit every year for 10 years, totaling $20,000. This will allow students to continue to broaden their horizons and forge new connections throughout their public service careers.
Students will be invited each fall to an annual summit to help define and inspire their public service journey. At the summit this fall, they will meet with President Obama and Brian Chesky to talk about the role of empathy and understanding in leadership. They’ll also hear from guest speakers on different approaches to service, and build community with other Voyagers.
Network of leaders
Throughout the program, students will be invited to an ongoing speaker series, giving them access to a network of leaders. This network of leaders will expose them to new areas of service and innovations happening in their fields. After graduation, they will join the Obama Foundation’s global community, providing them with Foundation resources and programming.”