For Immediate Release: November 6, 2013
Press contact: Rachel Flor (617) 514-1662

Boston, MA- The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced today that the national John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest, with a first place prize totaling $10,000, is now open and accepting submissions from U.S. high school students. The deadline for entries is Monday, January 6, 2014.

Students and teachers may access the contest’s website by visiting the Profile in Courage Essay Contest at

The annual Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites students from across the nation to write an essay describing an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1956. The essay contest is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and generously supported by John Hancock Financial.

The contest is a companion program of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award™, named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions.

The winner of this competitive annual contest will be awarded a $5,000 cash prize and an additional $5,000 to grow in a John Hancock Freedom 529 College Savings Plan. The student’s nominating teacher will be awarded a John F. Kennedy Public Service Grant in the amount of $500 to be applied toward school projects involving student leadership and civic engagement.The essay contest winner and nominating teacher will also receive an expense paid round-trip to Boston, where they will be honored at ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. A second-place winner will receive $1,000 and up to five finalists each will receive $500.

The contest is open to United States high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools; U.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; and U.S. citizens attending schools overseas. Past winners and finalists are not eligible to participate. Employees of John Hancock and members of their families are not eligible to participate.

“This national essay contest fittingly honors President Kennedy, who believed deeply in the power of the individual and the promise of our nation’s young people,” said Tom McNaught, Executive Director of the Kennedy Library Foundation. “It is gratifying to see how readily students today can identify and understand acts of political courage and their importance in our democratic society, as well as the role courage plays in today’s political climate.”

“As the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum celebrates the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's administration, we are proud to once again partner with the Foundation on the Profile in Courage Essay Contest." said Tom Crohan, Assistant Vice President & Counsel, John Hancock. “John Hancock's strong commitment to education and civic responsibility is a proud tradition, and we encourage students from across the country to participate in this contest. It is an opportunity to learn about President Kennedy's inspiring legacy, understand the lessons of our nation's past, and appreciate the role they can play in shaping our future."

Last year, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation received 1,814 essays from high school students in all fifty states and Washington, D.C., and from U.S. students in Chile, Egypt, India, and Taiwan.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is a private, non-profit organization that provides financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Kennedy Library Foundation and the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service. For more information about the Kennedy Library Foundation and the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, visit

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial

John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$567billion (US$539 billion) as at June 30, 2013. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at