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Changemakers

The Obama Foundation is committed to the next generation of changemakers from around the world through scholarships, leadership training, and more. 

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Celebrates 10 Years of Making a Difference for Black Youth

Relive the most memorable moments and see how President Obama’s White House initiative has expanded across the country.

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The image is a combination of the headshots of Jessica Teal, Laura Olin, and Jeron Smith. From [L to R]: The first person is Jessica Teal: she has pale skin, blonde hair, blue eyes, and is wearing a red short-sleeved shirt. She is smiling at the camera. The second person is Jeron Smith: he has brown skin, closely cut black hair, and a mustache. He is wearing a dark blazer with a white t-shirt underneath. In the background of Jeron's headshot is an industrial set with orange lighting and tall metal beams. The third person is Laura Olin: she has pale skin, blue eyes, and blond hair that hits her shoulders. She is wearing a blue and white shirt and smiling at the camera. Behind Laura are green trees.
  • Presidential History
  • The Arts

Meet the minds behind the design, voice, and digital strategy for the Obama campaign and White House.

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The image is a combined photo of five women. The first is Clarissa Kornell: she has long curly dark hair, a light olive complexion and is wearing a dark pink shirt with a light pink scarf. Clarissa is smiling in the picture. The second woman is Sabra Townsend: she has shoulder length locs that are curled. Sabra has a medium brown skinned complexion and is wearing a dark blue blazer with an orange shirt underneath. Sabra is smiling in the picture. The third woman is Juliet Choi: she has dark hair cut into a shoulder-length bob and she has an olive complexion. Juliet is wearing black glasses, a brown necklace, and a short sleeved blue blouse. Juliet is smiling in the picture. The fourth woman is Alefiyah Mesiwala. Alefiyah has long black hair, dark olive skin and hazel eyes. Alefiyah is wearing a dark blue scarf and a black shirt and smiling in the picture. The fifth woman is Jamie Lockhart: Jamie has long dark brown hair and pale skin. Jamie is wearing a pink blazer and a black shirt underneath. Jamie is also wearing a small diamond necklace and smiling in the picture.
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Alumni

Meet five women carrying forward the legacy of the Affordable Care Act in their communities

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Dr. Edwin Quezada, a man with a medium skin tone points as he speaks to an audience. He is wearing glasses and a powder blue suit.
  • Community Engagement
  • Education

Hear directly from one of the My Brother’s Keeper Model Communities on how they achieved a 91 percent graduation rate for students of color.

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A black-and-white headshot of a woman with long dark wavy hair, parted to the side. She wears a floral blouse and dark suit jacket. There are three graphic circles behind her: one teal, one light green and one white..
  • Equality
  • Defending Democracy

Hear directly from Adrijana Hanušić Bećirović as she talks about human rights and what the Obama Leadership program has meant to her.

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Two women and one man pose for a photo. One woman has medium-dark skin tone, and the other two people have dark skin. Two of them wear shirts with the words "Afroclimate.com." They sit on a rock wall in front of dirt and greenery.
  • Sustainability
  • Leaders

Find out how the 2023 cohort created a non-profit committed to a sustainable future for Africa, one entrepreneur at a time.

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There are three women on the right side of the image and three women on the left side of the image. In the center of the image, Michelle Obama is hugging a woman and facing the camera. Michelle Obama has curly hair and is wearing several rings. The woman she is hugging is facing opposite the camera – we cannot see her face – she has short curly hair and is wearing a beige sweater and black pants. In the background, several women with a range of light to deep skin tones and ages speak to one another. On the wall of the room is a poster that reads, “Girls Opportunity Alliance.” The poster has a border with short perpendicular lines in pink and light blue with a dark blue background.
  • Girls Opportunity Alliance
  • Equality

Meet five women making a difference with the help of the Girls Opportunity Alliance

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Kori Coleman, a Black woman with a deep skin tone, stands in the middle of a four person string quartet. They are a range of medium to deep skin tones and are holding a viola, violin, and cello. All are wearing shades of brown. Credit: Seed Lynn
  • The Arts
  • Leaders

Ahead of her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, hear how one Obama Leader leverages the power of music to educate, entertain, and heal her community.

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On the South Lawn, President Obama walks in the middle of a group of young men. All have a range of light to deep skin tones. They are wearing a mix of casual and professional attire.
  • Watch
  • MBK Alliance

Get to know two young men carrying forward the legacy of MBK

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President Obama stands in the middle of young leaders at MBK Rising! All men are dressed professionally and have a range of light to deep skin tones.
  • Youth
  • MBK Alliance

Take a look back at some of the program's most inspiring moments.

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Michelle Obama sits in a circle with women with a range of light to deep skin tones and Michael Strautmanis. Mrs. Obama is wearing a multicolored dress and sits with her legs crossed. A sign in the background reads, “Obama Leadership Network.”
  • Leaders
  • Michelle Obama

We marked the fifth anniversary of the Leaders program where it all began.

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Representative John Lewis and President Barack Obama are sitting in a room together laughing in the middle of a conversation. Representative Lewis is sitting on a couch on the left-hand side of the image with his hands placed on his left knee. He is an older, brown-skinned man with a bald head. He is wearing a blue suit, with a white button-down shirt, and a blue tie. The couch Rep. Lewis is sitting on, is the color brown. President Obama is sitting on the right side of the image in a beige chair. He is wearing a black suit with a blue button-down shirt. His arms are placed on the side of the chair. In the room of the image is a beige coffee table with a large blue book on top of it. On the front of the book is the number, “44.” The room has beige walls with pictures on the left side. On the wall are three pictures: the largest picture features a blue background and the figure of a man’s arms and head; the second largest picture is an image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking during the March on Washington; the smallest picture is indistinguishable. In the room there is a small brown side table that sits between Rep. John Lewis and President Barack Obama. On the side table is a table lamp with a white lamp shade and two framed pictures.
  • Presidential History
  • Building the Center

Learn about the work of civil rights icon John Lewis and his influence on President Obama and the Obama Foundation.

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  • Youth
  • Voyagers

Meet recipients of the Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service or learn how you can apply to be in the next cohort!

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Daniel Fairley II, a Black man with a light skin tone smiles at the camera. He has short black hair and glasses. He is wearing a light purple blazer and a dark purple hoodie.
  • Alumni
  • Leaders

Meet an Obama Leader supporting Virginians in need.

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President Obama stands behind a podium and speaks to an audience. A screen behind him reads, “Obama Foundation Democracy Forum.” He is wearing a black suit without a tie.
  • Defending Democracy
  • Barack Obama
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44 Alumni, Tess Hetzel (on the left) and Paul Montiero Jr. (on the right) are smiling into the camera. They are located in an office in the Maryland Capitol. In the room is a white fireplace with a black firepit, a black lace couch, and a beige wall with a larger painting – person unseen – with a gold frame. Tess Hetzel has a pale complexion, long reddish blonde hair, and blue eyes. She is wearing a yellow cardigan and a black v-neck t-shirt. Paul Montiero Jr. has a brown complexion, dark brown curly hair, and brown eyes. He is wearing a black and white pinstriped suit, with a white button-down, and a gray tie.
  • Alumni
  • The Obama Administration

Meet five people whose time campaigning for President Obama inspired them to continue serving their communities

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With their backs to the camera, President and Mrs. Obama stand in front of a large audience in a low lit auditorium at the 2008 Election Night Anniversary celebration. To the left of them is a small stage and podium.
  • Obama Picks
  • Stories
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Ryan Pavel, a man with light skin tone, stands smiling in front of a sign that reads "Warrior-Scholar Project."
  • Education
  • Leaders

Meet 2023 United States Obama Leader Ryan Pavel, veteran, and CEO of Warrior-Scholar Project.

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  • Alumni
  • The Obama Administration

Learn about six 2008 alumni and their positive impact on our world 15 years later.

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Ziad Ahmed, a man with a medium skin tone, smiles at the camera. He has black hair and is wearing a red patterned jacket. He is sitting on an apple box. The background is brown.
  • Youth
  • Leaders

Learn how Ziad Ahmed built a successful company by listening to the next generation.

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Nick Kennedy, a college-age Native American young man, stands in between a Canadian and American flag on flag poles. He is wearing a brown suit and a white name tag around his neck.
  • Equality
  • Voyagers

Nick Kennedy, an Obama-Chesky Voyager, is advocating for the preservation of Indigenous culture.

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Bethany Rivera Molinar, presents a workshop in front of eight others. Their backs are to the camera as they sit around a table. Bethany stands in front of a wall easel pad. She is wearing a Ciudad Nueva shirt and glasses.
  • Leaders
  • USA

Learn how Bethany Rivera Molinar is transforming her Texas neighborhood through community work.

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DeKevious Wilson, a Black man with a deep skin tone, looks off camera as he stands in front of a home. He has a salt and pepper afro and beard. He is wearing a Becoming a Man t-shirt and denim jacket.
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Scholars

DeKevious Wilson strengthens youth mental health through policy work.

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Rebecca speaks at Harvard Kennedy School affinity celebration for disabled graduates. She is wearing silver hoop earrings, a purple dress, and a black blazer. She is sitting in front of a red background that reads, “Affinity Celebration for Graduates.”
  • Alumni
  • Equality

Meet the Obama alum who is championing disability rights for all.

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A woman with a deep skin tone wears black framed glasses with silver droplet earrings and bracelet as she serves food with clear gloves on. She is wearing a purple shirt. The receiver is a young girl with a deep skin tone and medium length straight black hair. She is holding up a plate and is wearing a baby blue mask and gray shirt. Along the table are three trays filled with food and vegetables.
  • Youth
  • Chicago

We partner with Local Lunchbox to provide thousands of meals to our young people over the summer months.

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Tom Twongyeirwe Junior stands in front of a board room full of Black people or a range of skin tones. He is wearing a blue button up and striped pants. A sign in the background reads, The Universal Coalition of Affirming Africans Uganda.
  • Equality
  • Leaders

Progress for LGBTQ+ people in Uganda has been hindered by the current cultural and political landscape.

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The Obama "O" logo surrounded by a blue Greek "key" pattern, also known as a meander, with the words "Athens 2023" beneath it.
  • Event
  • Leaders

Get a look inside the week-long leadership and cultural experience.

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President Obama poses for a photo with Guitars Over Guns participants. He is surrounded by 17 others with a range of light to deep skin tones.
  • MBK Alliance
  • The Arts

Learn more about Nathan, his experience at Guitars Over Guns, and his plans for the future.

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Raven Smith, a Black woman with a medium skin tone, smiles at the camera. She is wearing a long sleeved white shirt and red plaid pants. Her arms are crossed and she has long black hair.
  • Youth
  • The Arts

Young Chicagoan Raven Smith created the t-shirt company Straight From The GO – All Good Things From ChicaGO to dispel negative perceptions about violence in Chicago

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Leah Whitmoyer sorts olives with another woman with a medium skin tone and black hair on an olive farm in Taounate, Morocco. Three others stand in the background.
  • Sustainability
  • Voyagers

Voyager to tackle food and water insecurity during Summer Voyage

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On a sunny day, Sejong Youn, a man with a light medium skin tone, stands outside. He has short black hair and is wearing glasses and a denim button down. He has a closed lip smile and his arms are crossed.
  • Sustainability
  • Leaders

Obama Leader advocates for stronger climate policies

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President Obama sits at a table between two men and women with a range of skin tones and clothing styles. The President’s right arm is extended as he looks away from the camera.
  • Defending Democracy
  • Leaders

This week in Berlin, Germany, President Obama sat down with 18 alumni of our leadership programs from across Europe for a roundtable conversation about the importance of nurturing democracy.

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Angela Barranco stands next to seven others as they watch President Obama sign a document in the Oval Office. All people are a range of light to medium skin tones. President Obama sits behind his desk.
  • Sustainability
  • Alumni

Meet the Obama alum who is leading climate action efforts at The Climate Group.

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Mustika Wijaya stands with the Wekeke village chief and religious leader at the site of Solar Chapter’s pump installation. They are surrounded by rocks and construction.
  • Sustainability
  • Scholars

Obama Scholar creates clean water for rural Indonesians

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Ornella Cosomati sits at a roundtable discussion. One person sits to her right and another in front of her. Their back is to the camera. She is wearing glasses and a black suit.
  • Sustainability
  • Leaders

Obama Leader improves sustainability policies in Europe

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Joseph Nguthiru, a Black man with a deep skin tone, smiles at the camera as he holds a biodegradable package wrapper made from water hyacinth. He is wearing a green shirt that reads, “Simply do good.”
  • Sustainability
  • Leaders

Obama Foundation Leader transforms aquatic weeds into biodegradable plastic.

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Elpida Kokkota smiles as she stands next to Jame Kalekye Mutambya, a Black woman with a deep skin tone and short hair, and Mercy Musomi, a Black woman with a deep skin tone and short curly hair. Jame holds a peace sign as they stand in front of a booth at a Naroibi cultural market. In the background is art and handmade bags.
  • Education
  • Leaders

Find out how Elpida is making a difference for female entrepreneurs in Kenya.

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