The JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest is currently available to high school students. The winner of this competitive annual contest receives a $10,000 prize and an invite to accept the award at the Profile in Courage Award ceremony held each May at the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
Who is eligible to apply for the JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest?
The contest is open to:
- United States high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools
- U.S. students under the age of twenty enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, or the U.S. territories
- U.S. citizens attending schools overseas
Past winners and finalists are not eligible to participate. Employees of John Hancock Financial Services and members of their families are not eligible to participate.
- Essays can be no more than 1,000 words but must be a minimum of 700 words
- Essays must be the original work of the student
- John F., Robert F., and Edward M. Kennedy are not eligible subjects for essays
- Essays must describe 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 official may have addressed an issue at the local, state, or national level. See Contest Topic and Information and Helpful Tips for Writing Your Essay for more information.
- Essays about past recipients of the Profile in Courage Award will be disqualified unless they describe an act of political courage other than the act for which the award was given
- Essays about the senators in Profiles in Courage will be disqualified
- All essays must have a minimum of five sources
How much is the JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest award worth?
- The winner receives a $10,000 cash award. The winner and her/his family are invited to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston to accept her/his award and participate in Profile in Courage Award events in May 20201. Travel and lodging expenses will be paid for the trip to Boston for the winning student and her/his parents.
- Second-place winner receives $3,000
- Five finalists receive $1,000 each
- Eight semifinalists receive $100 each
- Ten students receive honorable mentions
- The nominating teacher of the first-place winner also receives an invite to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to receive the John F. Kennedy Public Service Grant in the amount of $500 for school projects encouraging student leadership and civic engagement.
- All participants receive a Certificate of Participation
When is the deadline to apply for the JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest?
The contest deadline is January 14, 2022.
Best of luck to all students!