The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is celebrating the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth through Profile in Courage Essay Contest. The essay contest challenges high school students to write an original and creative essay that demonstrates an understanding of political courage as described by John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage. The first-place prize of $20,000 and cash awards for the top 25 essays will be given to the winning candidates.
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
- The contest is open to the United States high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools
- S. students under the age of twenty enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, or the U.S. territories
- S. citizens attending schools overseas
- Past winners and finalists are not eligible to participate
- Employees of John Hancock Financial Services and members of their families are not eligible to participate
How to Apply:
To be applying for the essay contest, the applicants must write an original and creative essay on the following topic.
Describe and analyze an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1917, the year John F. Kennedy was born. Include an analysis of the obstacles, risks, and consequences associated with the act. The essay may concern an issue at the local, state, national, or international level.
- Essays can be no more than 1,000 words but must be a minimum of 700 words. Citations and bibliography are not included in the word count.
- Essays must be the original work of the student.
- John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Edward M. Kennedy are not eligible subjects for essays.
- JFK Centennial Year Contest Topic: Essays must describe an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1917, the year John F. Kennedy was born. The official may have addressed an issue at the local, state, or national level.
- Essays about past recipients of the Profile in Courage Award will be disqualified unless they describe an act of political courage other than the act for which the award was given.
- Essays must have a minimum of five sources.
You can submit your essay in one of the following ways:
- You can register and submit on-line through the given link: https://www.jfklibrary.org/Education/Profile-in-Courage-Essay-Contest/Registration-and-Submission/Registration-and-Submission-Form.aspx
- Submit your essay via mail
- Complete the online Registration Form when you have completed your essay https://www.jfklibrary.org/Education/Profile-in-Courage-Essay-Contest/Registration-and-Submission/Registration-and-Submission-Form.aspx
- Print out the completed online registration form along with two hard copies of your essay. Your essay must be typed, double-spaced, and printed only on one side of the paper.
- Attach your registration form to only one copy of your essay. Your second copy should contain no personal identification information.
Please mail to:
John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
Profile in Courage Essay Contest
Boston, MA 02125
The contest season marks the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth. To celebrate the JFK Centennial, special prizes will be awarded to the top 25 students (for this year only).
- The winner receives $20,000, a joint prize from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and John Hancock. The winner and her/his family are invited to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston in May to accept her/his award. Travel and lodging expenses will be paid for the trip to Boston for the winning student and her/his parents.
- Second-place winner receives a $1,000 cash award.
- Five finalists receive a $500 cash award.
- Eighteen essayists receive JFK Centennial awards of $100.
- All winners receive a hardcover copy of Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy.
- The nominating teacher of the first-place winner is also invited to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to receive the John F. Kennedy Public Service Grant in the amount of $500 for school projects encouraging student leadership and civic engagement. Travel and lodging expenses will be paid for the trip to Boston.
The 2017 contest deadline is January 4, 2017.
Link for More Information: