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The Profile in Courage Essay Contest

We are excited to announce the 2020 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students is now open and accepting essay submissions! 

We're challenging high school students across the nation to write a 1,000 word essay on a U.S. elected official’s political courage, as described by John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage. Winning essays tell the story of a leader who made the difficult choice to do what was right, despite political or personal consequences. No matter what level of government or political party they represent, courageous leaders are guided by their conscience -- even if it costs them their next election. 


This year we are pleased to announce that winning essays receive one of 15 different scholarship prizes. These include:

- First place $10,000

- Second place $3,000

- Five Finalists $1,000 each

- Eight Semi Finalists $100 each


Don’t wait -- begin your research today and submit your essay before the January 17, 2020 deadline! If you or a student you know have questions or want to learn more about the contest please click here.


We look forward to reading your essay and learning about a time when a leader’s political courage inspired you. If you are no longer a high school student, we hope you will share these details with someone that could benefit from this incredible opportunity. 


Esther Kohn

Profile in Courage Essay Contest

John F. Kennedy Library Foundation





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