2008 JFK Profile in Courage National Essay Contest Accepting Submissions from U.S. High School Students

For Immediate Release: October 2, 2007 
Further information: Brent R. Carney (603) 458-1260, Brent.Carney@JFKLFoundation.org

Boston, MA- The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced today that the national 2008 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest, with a first place cash prize of $5,000, is now open and accepting submissions from U.S. high school students. The deadline for entries is Saturday, January 12, 2008.

Students and teachers may access the contest’s website.

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 essay contest is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and generously supported by Fidelity Investments.

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 American statesmen, the obstacles they faced, and the special valor they demonstrated despite the risks.

The winner of this competitive annual contest is awarded a $5,000 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. A second place winner receives $1,000 and up to five finalists each receive $500. The essay contest winner and nominating teacher will also receive an expense paid round-trip to Boston, where they will be honored by Caroline Kennedy and U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy at the annual John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award ceremony on May 12, 2008.

“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 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, as well the role courage plays in today’s political climate.”

"We are pleased to sponsor this important contest encouraging student leadership and civic engagement," said Doug Reed, Senior Vice President of Regional Management & Public Affairs for Fidelity Investments. "This national high school contest is a reflection of our commitment to education, literacy and civic involvement."

Last year, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation received 1,634 essays from American high school students in forty-eight states and American citizens studying in Great Britain, Guam and Japan.

Click here (pdf) to read last year's winning essay.

Fidelity first began supporting the Profile in Courage Essay Contest in 2001, and has taken a leadership role in promoting the opportunity and producing a DVD about the program, which teachers are able to use as a resource in classrooms throughout the country.

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, call 866-JFK-1960.