2009 JFK Profile in Courage National Essay Contest Accepting Submissions from US High School Students

For Immediate Release: October 20, 2008 
Further information: Brent R. Carney (617) 514-1662, Brent.Carney@JFKLFoundation.org

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 cash prize of $5,000, is now open and accepting submissions from U.S. high school students. The deadline for entries is Saturday, January 10, 2009.

Students and teachers may click here to access the contest’s website.

The annual Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites students from across the nation to write an essay describing the political courage of a U.S. elected official. 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 eight senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions.

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 in May of 2009.

“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 Fidelity's commitment to education, literacy and civic involvement.”

Last year, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation received 1,185 essays from high school students in forty-five states and Guam.

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.