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Student selected for Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship

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Kaylee Ries, selected for the Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service, where she will receive a 10-year travel stipend after graduation.

Heidi Gasser | Reporter

Bowling Green State University has announced that Honors student Kaylee Ries has been selected for the Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service, where she will receive a 10-year travel stipend after graduation.

As a scholarship recipient, she will get up to $25,000 in financial aid yearly and a $10,000 stipend for summer work-travel experiences. Additionally, she is invited to a fall summit where she and the other recipients will meet former President Obama and co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, to discuss leadership in public service. 

There is also a hands-on summer experience that Ries can participate in to gain expertise in her chosen line of service, all while either pursuing an internship or designing their own life experiences.

She is one of 100 college student recipients and one of three Ohioans. Ries has been recognized for her dedication to advocacy and public service, specifically working to aid survivors of domestic and sexual violence. 

Ries works as an advocate at the Cocoon, a sexual and domestic violence center in Bowling Green. She also volunteers with a nationwide crisis hotline as a crisis counselor and has begun an internship as a peer ambassador at the BGSU Counseling Center. 

She is currently a junior and first-generation college student majoring in psychology with a minor in neuroscience, human development and family studies, while also being a Thompson Scholar and McNair Scholar. 

After graduation, Ries will join the Obama Foundation’s global community with access to its resources and programming.

“When I read the email notifying me I was selected, I cried,” Ries said. “It has been insanely emotional. Going to college has always been my dream and I’ve worked so hard to get here. To receive this scholarship is life-changing. I’ll be able to travel and network and pursue my degree without the added stress of figuring out how to pay for it all. It still feels unbelievable.”

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