Profiles in Courage

The Kennedy Library Foundation, in partnership with Boston-based financial firm John Hancock, awards the Profiles in Courage Scholarships annually. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1956 book “Profiles in Courage,” which profiled great Americans who embodied the qualities of true bravery in the face of peril, and the scholarship continues the legacy of honoring Americans who demonstrate political courage.

There is only one unequivocal winner of this scholarship each year, but there are several runners up who also receive prizes. The prize is very prestigious and carries a $10,000 scholarship for college for the winner. The second place winner receives a scholarship of $1,000, and the Library can award up to five additional finalists $500 each. All of the finalists and the winner of the Profiles in Courage Scholarships receive, of course, a copy of the book that inspired the scholarship.

The Profiles in Courage Scholarships: Prestige and Educational Funding

The Profiles in Courage Scholarships are prestigious and finalists and winners of the scholarship have an excellent addition to their college applications as well as money to attend college. High school students are eligible to apply for the Profiles in Courage Scholarships as long as they have not previously won the scholarship and are under the age of 20. Each applicant has to submit a 1,000 word essay and must be nominated for the contest by a teacher. The teacher’s responsibility is to work with the student on his or her essay and help him or her develop his story.

The teacher who nominates the winning student receives the John F. Kennedy Public Service Grant. The essay is a research project, and the submitted application must cite no fewer than five outside sources supporting the essay’s content. The focus of the applying essay must be an act of political courage undertaken by an elected official in the United States – on the local, state or national level – after 1956 which was when President Kennedy’s original book was published.

Applicants cannot write about President Kennedy or his two most famous brothers, Robert Kennedy or Edward (Ted) Kennedy. The President’s eldest brother died in 1944 and did not hold elective office, so he is not an eligible subject for an applicant’s essay, either.

Once the the winner of the Profiles in Courage Scholarships and all of the finalists are selected from the many applications filed, all are invited to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library in Boston to receive their awards directly from the daughter of the President, Caroline Kennedy. The Profiles in Courage Scholarships: Prestige and Educational Funding

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