2006 JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest Accepting Submissions from U.S. High School Students

For Immediate Release: October 3, 2005
Further information: Brent R. Carney (617) 514-1662, Brent.Carney@JFKLFoundation.org

Boston, MA- The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced today that the 2006 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest is now open and accepting submissions from U.S. high school students enrolled in grades nine through twelve. The deadline for entries is Saturday, January 7, 2006.

The annual Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites students from across the nation to write an essay about a political issue at the local, state or national level and an elected official in the United States who is acting or has acted courageously to address that issue. The contest is a companion program of the Profile in Courage Award, named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of American statesmen, the obstacles they faced, and the special valor they demonstrated despite the risks. The essay contest is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and generously supported by Fidelity Investments.

The winner of this competitive annual contest is awarded a $3,000 cash prize. The student’s nominating teacher receives a John F. Kennedy Public Service Grant in the amount of $500 to be applied toward school projects involving student leadership and civic engagement. These honors are bestowed upon the winner and nominating teacher at the annual Profile in Courage Award ceremony hosted by Caroline Kennedy and U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy each May at the Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

"The 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 John Shattuck, CEO 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."

"We are pleased to support this contest to encourage student leadership and civic engagement," said Doug Reed, senior vice president of Regional Management and Public Affairs for Fidelity Investments. "This national contest for high school students is a reflection of our commitment to education, literacy, and civic involvement."

Last year, the Kennedy Library Foundation received 2,459 essays from students across the country, including all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and overseas American schools in Guam, France, and Korea. Allie Comet, a 17-year old senior at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, and Kevin Zhou, a 16-year old junior from Monte Vista School in Danville, California, shared the top honors in 2005’s Profile in Courage Essay Contest.

Comet’s winning essay illustrated the political courage displayed by Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr., who was called upon by President Kennedy to testify in support of the groundbreaking civil rights legislation the President was urging Congress in enact. Zhou’s winning essay detailed the political courage of Humboldt County, California District Attorney Paul V. Gallegos, who confronted the environmental practices of Pacific Lumber Company, the region’s largest and most influential private employer.

Fidelity first began supporting the national essay contest in 2001, and has helped to extend the program by promoting and by providing technical assistance for the development and management of the contest website at www.jfkcontest.org

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.