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Profiles In Courage John F Kennedy Essay

Scholarship Provider: John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
Application Deadline: 01/07/2012
Description: The annual John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites high school students from across the nation to write an original essay about an elected official who has demonstrated political courage.  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 eight senators, the obstacles they faced, and the special valor they demonstrated despite the risks.

Winning essayists will receive awards totaling up to $10,000. The first-place winner will be invited to accept the award at the Profile in Courage Award Ceremony hosted each May by Caroline Kennedy and Senator Edward M. Kennedy at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.  To encourage student leadership and civic engagement, the nominating teacher of the first-place winner will receive a John F. Kennedy Public Service Grant for $500.
Scholarship Amount: Up to 10,000
Scholarship Website:
Applicant Class Requirement: High School Students
Citizenship Requirement: U.S. Citizen
Awards Given: 5-10
Length of Award: One Time Award
Other Comments: The Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites high school students to consider the concept of political courage by writing an essay on a U.S. official who has chosen to do what is right, rather than what is expedient. A "Profile in Courage" essay is a carefully researched recounting of a story: the story of how an elected official risked his or her career to take a stand based on moral principles.

An opportunity for meaningful civics education, the Profile in Courage Essay Contest meets several National Standards in Social Studies and English. Students will develop and enhance research, writing and critical thinking skills while they deepen their understanding and appreciation of politics and history.

Essay Topic

Students are asked to write an original and creative essay of less than 1,000 words that demonstrates an understanding of political courage as described by John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage . Students should use a variety of sources such as newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews to address the following topic:

Describe and analyze the decisions, actions, and risks of an elected public official in the United States since 1956 who has courageously addressed a political issue at the local, state, national, or international level.

Scholarship Opportunity Contact Information

Primary Contact: John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
Profile in Courage Essay Contest
Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125
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