Profile in Courage Essay Contest

Awarded By:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Foundation

Number of Awards & Eligibility: Fifteen available awards
In order to qualify, students must meet the following criteria:
  1. This award is for U.S. students.
  2. Must be a high school student in grades nine through twelve attending a public, private, parochial, or home school located in the United States, the District of Columbia, or the U.S. territories. U.S. students under the age of 20 enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program in any of the 50 states and students who are U.S. citizens attending schools overseas are also eligible.
  3. Must be a U.S. citizen.

In order to qualify, students must meet the following criteria:

Description: Applications are available online on the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Foundation website. To enter this contest, students must write an essay addressing the topic listed on the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Foundation website. The essay should be original and creative, and demonstrate an understanding of political courage as described in John F. Kennedy's 'Profiles in Courage' book. Applicants should use a variety of sources such as newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews. The essay must be between 700 and 1,000 words in length (footnotes and the bibliography are not included in the word count), and must be typed and double-spaced on one side of each page. The essay must be the original work of the student. All applicants must attach a bibliography (using any one of the recognized formats) citing the sources used in writing the essay. It is recommended that students use five or more selected sources. Essays with five or less listed sources or essays which rely solely on Internet sources may be disqualified. Essays without a bibliography will be disqualified. All students must also complete the online registration form, which is available on the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Foundation website. Applicants must ask one of their teachers to nominate them for this award. All students must list the name of their nominating teacher on the registration form. The nominating teacher can be a former or current teacher, but must still be teaching at the same high school as the essay participant. The parent or legal guardian responsible for the instruction of a home schooled student can also serve as a nominating teacher. Completed essays may be submitted online (preferred method) or through regular mail. Essays submitted via postal mail and online entries must be postmarked by the deadline.

Application requirements for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest are:

  • Essay
  • Nomination
  • Application form
Additional Information: The Profile in Courage Essay Contest is a companion activity to the Kennedy Library Foundation's annual Profile in Courage Award, which honors elected officials who have demonstrated exceptional political courage. All essays will be judged on overall originality of topic and clear communication of ideas through language. The final 10 essays are judged by several members of the Profile in Courage Award Committee. Past first-place winners are not eligible to participate. Winners and finalists will be notified in March. All participants will receive a letter announcing the winners and finalists in May.

Award Amount: First-place: $10,000, Second place: $3,000, Five Finalists: $1,000 each, Eight Semi-finalists: $100 each  The total dollars awarded for this scholarship is $28,000.

Deadline Information:

Deadline for this scholarship is Friday, January 13, 2023

Deadline Information:

Deadline for this scholarship is Friday, January 13, 2023

All applications and supporting material must be submitted by the listed deadline. No late submissions will be accepted.
About John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Foundation:
Contact Information: Lisa Menendez Wideman, Program Coordinator
Address: John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Foundation, Profile in Courage Essay Contest Columbia Point Boston, Massachusetts 02125

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