In Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy recounted the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers to do what was right for the nation. These leaders demonstrated political courage by taking a stand for the public good in spite of pressure by interest groups, their political party, or even their constituents. The Profile in Courage Essay Contest challenges students to write an original and creative essay that demonstrates an understanding of political courage as described by John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage.
The maximum word count is 1,000 with a minimum of 700, not including citations and bibliography. Use at least five varied sources such as government documents, letters, newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews.
All submissions must adhere to contest requirements.
The contest deadline is January 13, 2023.
Describe and analyze an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1917, the year John F. Kennedy was born. Include an analysis of the obstacles, risks, and consequences associated with the act. The essay may concern an issue at the local, state, national, or international level.
Since originality is one of the criteria for judging, we strongly encourage students to profile an official in their town, state or region, or a leader who has addressed an issue of great concern to them. We advise students to avoid selecting a common essay subject. To assist in determining common essay subjects, please see the list below.
List of Most Written About Essay Subjects - We advise that participants avoid writing about officials on this list.
All entries must must include a completed registration form and be submitted by 11:59pm (EST) on January 13, 2023 to be eligible for judging. The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, damaged, illegible, or incomplete submissions.
Decisions of the Profile in Courage Award Committee are final. Winners will be notified by email and via telephone by April 30. All participants will receive a letter notifying them of the winners along with a Certificate of Participation by the end of May.
By entering, you agree that your essay will become the property of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and will not be returned. The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation reserves the right to print and display the essays and photographs of the contest winners.
Contact the Contest Coordinator
Important Note: Before contacting the Profile in Courage Essay Contest Coordinator, please be sure to read over the FAQ section of this web site.