Profile in Courage High School Awards

Scholarship Value: $10,000
Awards Available: 8
Award Deadline: Jan 13, 2023

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.

Contest Topic

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.

Eligibility

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; and 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.

Requirements

  • The contest deadline is January 13, 2023 at 11:59 PM (EST).
  • Essays can be no more than 1,000 words but must be a minimum of 700 words. Citations and bibliography are not included in the word count.
  • Essays must be the original work of the student.
  • Essays must have a minimum of five sources.
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