Please note: Because the Profile in Courage Essay Contest is a John F. Kennedy Library Foundation program, it is continuing to operate during the government shutdown. The contest is currently open for submissions.
Profile in Courage Essay Contest
The Profile in Courage Essay Contest opens for submissions on September 1, 2018. The contest deadline is January 18, 2019.
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation invites U.S. high school students to 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.
The contest is open to United States high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools; US students under the age of twenty enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program; and US citizens attending schools overseas.
The first-place winner receives $10,000. Second-place receives $3,000. Five finalists receive $1,000 each. Eight semifinalists receive $100 each. Ten students receive honorable mention.
Read past winning essays to see examples of excellent submissions.
Submissions are evaluated on content (demonstrated understanding of political courage, originality, supporting evidence, source material) and presentation (quality of writing, organization, conventions.) Includes information about disqualifications.
Resources to help you prepare an excellent essay: Elements of a Strong Essay, Helpful Tips for Writing, Guidelines for Citations and Bibliography, and Criteria for Judging.
The contest opens for registration and submission on September 1, 2018.
Answers to frequently asked questions about the contest topic and requirements, citations and bibliography, the role of the nominating teacher, and more.
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation gratefully acknowledges John Hancock for its generous support of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest.