Making Room for College Dreams

Today we were honored that First Lady Michelle Obama and the #BetterMakeRoom campaign highlighted Airbnb as an example of how businesses and nonprofits can work together to make life easier for students and their families.

College visits, freshman orientation and graduation ceremonies are important milestones in any student’s life, and they’re a key step in helping students choose schools where they can truly belong. Unfortunately, many high school students lack the support network and financial resources required to achieve these milestones. That’s why Airbnb is teaming up with youth development organizations like Summer Search and United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to help address the hidden barriers and travel costs associated with visiting and attending college.

We started working with Summer Search to provide accommodations for college visits, freshman orientations, and graduation ceremonies in 2015, and immediately saw how much it meant to the students. That’s why this year we’re expanding the program from just New York and San Francisco to reach Summer Search students in Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, New York City and the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

We’re also excited to announce a burgeoning partnership with UNCF that will provide UNCF scholars and their families with free accommodations for freshman “move-in” weekends. Freshman orientation is an important transition for any student – and especially for students who are first in their family to attend college or students that have not traveled extensively beyond their hometown or neighborhood. This effort will initially focus on families of students starting classes at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Students and families have a lot on their minds when they go off to college for the first time. Airbnb is proud to work with Summer Search and UNCF to help make their transition a little easier.

-Belinda Johnson.

About Airbnb

Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone or tablet. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.

About UNCF

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”® Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities. Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter @UNCF.

About Summer Search

Summer Search is a national youth development nonprofit organization. Summer Search works with low-income high school students to transform what they believe is possible for themselves. Summer Search helps students across the country develop the skills and character traits they need to become college-educated leaders who give back to their families and communities. Learn more at www.summersearch.org.