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jfk library profile in courage essay contest

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

jfk library profile in courage essay contest

One thing that quickly becomes apparent to high school students preparing for college is the burden of funding a four-year degree. Fortunately for college-bound students, there are numerous ways to reduce the cost of school. One of the most notable methods is pursuing a wide range of scholarships and awards. An award that students with exceptional writing and researching skills should consider is the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest.

About the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

In 1954, John F. Kennedy took a leave of absence from the Senate to recover from back surgery. Kennedy used that time to study the topic of political courage, which inspired him to later write the Pulitzer-Prize winning book Profiles in Courage —detailing the careers of eight Senators whom Kennedy believed demonstrated enormous courage when faced with pressure from their parties and constituents.  

Today, the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest asks students to follow in Kennedy’s footsteps by researching and writing a creative original essay about an elected official who risked their career to take a stand on moral principles. The essay contest serves as a companion project to the Kennedy Library Foundation’s Profile in Courage Award, which honors elected officials who have demonstrated incredible political courage.

The winner of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest receives a $10,000 cash award and is invited to accept their prize at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Massachusetts during the Profile in Courage Award events—with all travel and lodging expenses paid for. In addition to the award winner, the runner-up will receive a $3,000 award, the five finalists each receive $1,000 awards, and the eight semi-finalists are awarded $100 each.

In addition to the winners, ten students are selected for honorable mention and all participants receive a certificate of participation.

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest Applicant Requirements

The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest is available to U.S. high school students in grades nine through twelve. Students need to be enrolled in a public, private, parochial, or homeschool high school program in one of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., or a U.S. territory. The contest also accepts submissions from U.S. citizens attending school overseas.

How to Apply

In order to participate in the Profile of Courage Essay Contest, students need to be recommended by a teacher who will support and advise the student in the creation of their essay. Nominating teachers can be former or current teachers of the applicant, but must still be still teaching at the school the participant is enrolled in. Rarely, an exception may be made if a student is unable to be nominated by a teacher from their school. For applicants who are homeschooled, the parent or legal guardian can fill the role of a nominating teacher.

An applicant’s essay is required to describe an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official on the local, state, or national level who served between 1917 (the year of Kennedy’s birth) and the present. Essays need to be an original work of the applicant and fall between 700 and 1,000 words—citations and bibliography do not count toward the word count. Additionally, applicants should cite a minimum of five sources.

John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Edward M. Kennedy, along with the senators featured in Profiles of Courage are not eligible subjects for essays. It’s also recommended to avoid writing about present or past presidents of the United States.

Past winners of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest are not eligible to participate again. Employees of John Hancock Financial Services and their family members are also ineligible for the award.

Tips on Applying For Awards

Don’t Miss Deadlines: Pay close attention to deadlines and don’t wait until the last minute to submit your essay. The Profile in Courage Essay can be submitted via email or traditional mail. If you decide to submit your materials via traditional mail, the application must be postmarked on its due date.

Follow Directions: The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest has specific rules about how many words are allowed, sources needed, what information needs to be included, and how sources should be cited. It would be extremely disappointing to write a winning essay only to be disqualified because you made a mistake like forgetting to include a bibliography.

Proofread: Applicants for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest should work closely with their nominating teacher to ensure that they submit a clean essay free of grammatical, typographical, and spelling errors, along with making sure the essay flows and meets the submission requirements.

Research: In addition to researching for their essay, applicants should research past winners to get an understanding of what a winning essay looks like. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum maintains a list of winners and their essays on their website .  

Professional Appearance: When applying for any distinguished award, there’s a chance that your social media profiles will be looked at. Audit your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles and delete any content that could be potentially damaging. While you’re at it, make sure you have a professional-looking email address to correspond with.

Get Professional Help: CollegeVine helps students win awards. Our expert advisors can provide whatever assistance a student needs, whether it’s staying ahead of deadlines or crafting an exceptional essay.

Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

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jfk library profile in courage essay contest

jfk library profile in courage essay contest

Bard Center for the Study of Hate

JFK Library and Museum’s Profile in Courage Essay Contest (with Bard Awards for Essays about confronting hate)

The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum has an annual Profile in Courage Essay Contest for 9-12th graders.  

Please  click here  to learn more.

The 2024 essay topic is: “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.” There are other requirements about style, sources, and a faculty recommendation. Click here for more information.

For Bard students, we add one other element: The “act of political courage” addressed has to be countering hatred. 

Students must follow the JFK submission process AND ALSO email a copy of their JFK entry to Kenneth Stern, director of the Bard Center for The Study of Hate, at [email protected] . THE DEADLINE IS JANUARY 12, 2024.

Regardless of whether students won one of the JFK awards (which range from $10,000 to $100), BCSH also recognizes the three top Bard student entries, with cash awards as follows: First prize — $200 Second prize — $100  Third prize — $50.

BCSH is proud to announce the winners among Bard submissions:

1st Place — Mia Rodriguez , for an essay on Jamaal Bowman

2nd Place — Zaina Kadir, for an essay on Hattie Caraway

3rd Place — Calder Wysong , for an essay on Bobby Rush

1st Place — Oskar Lieberman , for an essay on Daniel Inouye

1st Place — Aurora Donahue , for an essay on Warren G. Harding .

2nd Place — Kechelle Settle , for an essay on Jeannette Rankin .

3rd Place (two winners) —

Munshi Nadim , for an essay on Adam Clayton Powell .

and Justus Williams , for an essay on Walter Washington

Sharing teaching and learning resources from the National Archives

Education Updates

Education Updates

Profile in Courage Essay Contest

Today’s post comes from Esther Kohn, education specialist at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

Profiles in Courage Paperback Edition

In his 1956 book Profiles in Courage , John F. Kennedy recounted the stories of eight U.S. senators who faced dire consequences for standing up for the public good. Ostracized, rejected by voters, and even physically attacked, the elected officials in Kennedy’s Pulitzer prize-winning book put politics aside to do what they believed was right for the country.

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 the dictates of the public good, rather than the dictates of polls, interest groups, or even constituents. The contest challenges high school students to discover new “profiles in courage,” and to research and write about acts of political courage that occurred after the 1956 publication of Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage .

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest requires young people today to grapple with big ideas:  How did Kennedy define political courage ? Which public figures have demonstrated political courage? Which local, state, and national elected officials have risked their careers to take a stand for what is right?

Visit the John F. Kennedy Library website for contest information, eligibility and requirements, prize information, judging criteria, curriculum ideas, past winning essays, and more.

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4 thoughts on “ profile in courage essay contest ”.

Can GED students participate? What an amazing opportunity! Thank you, GED IN FL

Yes, GED students under the age of twenty are eligible. For more information on eligibility please visit: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Education/Profile-in-Courage-Essay-Contest/Eligibility-and-Requirements.aspx

Will you have a contest for adults? I’m 28. Jfk is my hero.

We’re happy to hear of your interest! We do not offer a contest for adults but you are welcome to submit a nomination for the Profile in Courage Award.

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Events-and-Awards/Profile-in-Courage-Award/How-to-Submit-a-Nomination.aspx

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JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest

Offered by John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

jfk library profile in courage essay contest

Multiple awards worth up to

Grade level.

High School Students

Expected deadline: This scholarship might not currently be accepting applications. Most scholarship programs only accept applications a few months ahead of their annual deadline. We’ve estimated this deadline based on last year’s deadline in order to help you plan out your scholarship applications.

January 2025

Scholarship Overview

Are you a U.S. high school student with a love for U.S. history? If so, we may have the perfect opportunity for you: the JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest! Each year, the contest awards up to $10,000 to winning applicants who submit 700 – 1,000 word essays following the year’s prompt. Each year’s prompt relates to U.S. history, with this year’s being: “ 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 scholarship is offered by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

If you love U.S. history and want to put your writing skills and history knowledge to the test, we encourage you to apply!

Eligibility information

This scholarship is open to students meeting the below eligibility criteria.

U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents

Political Science

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GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election denialism wins JFK Profile in Courage Award

Kentucky's Republican secretary of state, Michael Adams, has been chosen to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year

Kentucky Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams, who worked to expand early voting in the Bluegrass State and has spoken out against election denialism in his own party, has been chosen to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year.

In its announcement Monday, the JFK Library Foundation said Adams was recognized “for expanding voting rights and standing up for free and fair elections despite party opposition and death threats from election deniers.”

Adams — whose signature policy goal is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat — was at the forefront of a bipartisan effort with Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear that led to the enactment of 2021 legislation allowing for three days of no-excuse, early in-person voting — including on a Saturday — before Election Day. Adams hailed it as Kentucky’s most significant election law update in more than a century. About one-fifth of the Kentuckians who voted in last year's statewide election did so during those three days of early, in-person voting, Adams' office said Monday.

As his state's chief election officer, Adams has pushed back forcefully against false claims about rigged elections, referring to election skeptics as “cranks and kooks.”

“There’s a lot of irresponsible chatter out there and demagoguery about us having hacked elections," Adams said in a 2022 interview on Spectrum News 1. “It’s all hogwash. Our elections have never been hacked and are not hacked now.”

First elected in 2019, Adams won reelection by a wide margin last year after dominating his party's primary, which included a challenger who promoted debunked election claims.

Adams, a Kentucky native and graduate of Harvard Law School, said Monday that Kennedy's “admonition to put country before self still resonates today, and rings true now more than ever.”

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of election officials and poll workers across America who, inspired by his call, sacrifice to keep the American experiment in self-government alive,” he added.

Adams is part of an effort begun after the last presidential election that seeks to bring together Republican officials who are willing to defend the country’s election systems and the people who run them. They want officials to reinforce the message that elections are secure and accurate, which they say is especially important as the country heads toward another divisive presidential contest in November.

“It’s an obligation on Republicans’ part to stand up for the defense of our system because our party -- there’s some blame for where we stand right now,” Adams said recently. “But it’s also strategically wise for Republicans to say, ‘Hey Republicans, you can trust this. Don’t stay at home.’”

During a recent campaign rally, former President Donald Trump — the presumptive Republican nominee for president this year — repeated his false claim that Democrats rigged the 2020 election.

Just 22% of Republicans expressed high confidence that votes will be counted accurately in November, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll last year.

Adams is seen as a potential candidate for governor in 2027, when he and Beshear will be term-limited in their current jobs.

Honorary JFK Library Foundation President Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award to Adams on June 9 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

President Kennedy’s book, “Profiles in Courage,” recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. Past winners of the Profile in Courage Award include former U.S. presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama .

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GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election denialism wins JFK Profile in Courage Award

jfk library profile in courage essay contest

FILE - Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams speaks in the Rotunda of the state Capitol, Jan. 2, 2024, in Frankfort, Ky. Adams, who worked to expand early voting in the Bluegrass State and has spoken out against election denialism in his own party, was chosen Monday, May 6, to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)[ASSOCIATED PRESS/Timothy D. Easley]

Kentucky Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams, who worked to expand early voting in the Bluegrass State and has spoken out against election denialism in his own party, has been chosen to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year.

In its announcement Monday, the JFK Library Foundation said Adams was recognized “for expanding voting rights and standing up for free and fair elections despite party opposition and death threats from election deniers.”

Adams — whose signature policy goal is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat — was at the forefront of a bipartisan effort with Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear that led to the enactment of 2021 legislation allowing for three days of no-excuse, early in-person voting — including on a Saturday — before Election Day. Adams hailed it as Kentucky’s most significant election law update in more than a century. About one-fifth of the Kentuckians who voted in last year’s statewide election did so during those three days of early, in-person voting, Adams’ office said Monday.

As his state’s chief election officer, Adams has pushed back forcefully against false claims about rigged elections, referring to election skeptics as “cranks and kooks.”

“There’s a lot of irresponsible chatter out there and demagoguery about us having hacked elections,” Adams said in a 2022 interview on Spectrum News 1. “It’s all hogwash. Our elections have never been hacked and are not hacked now.”

First elected in 2019, Adams won reelection by a wide margin last year after dominating his party’s primary , which included a challenger who promoted debunked election claims.

Adams, a Kentucky native and graduate of Harvard Law School, said Monday that Kennedy’s “admonition to put country before self still resonates today, and rings true now more than ever.”

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of election officials and poll workers across America who, inspired by his call, sacrifice to keep the American experiment in self-government alive,” he added.

Adams is part of an effort begun after the last presidential election that seeks to bring together Republican officials who are willing to defend the country’s election systems and the people who run them. They want officials to reinforce the message that elections are secure and accurate, which they say is especially important as the country heads toward another divisive presidential contest in November.

“It’s an obligation on Republicans’ part to stand up for the defense of our system because our party — there’s some blame for where we stand right now,” Adams said recently. “But it’s also strategically wise for Republicans to say, ‘Hey Republicans, you can trust this. Don’t stay at home.’”

During a recent campaign rally, former President Donald Trump — the presumptive Republican nominee for president this year — repeated his false claim that Democrats rigged the 2020 election.

Just 22% of Republicans expressed high confidence that votes will be counted accurately in November, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll last year.

Adams is seen as a potential candidate for governor in 2027, when he and Beshear will be term-limited in their current jobs.

Honorary JFK Library Foundation President Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award to Adams on June 9 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

President Kennedy’s book, “Profiles in Courage,” recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. Past winners of the Profile in Courage Award include former U.S. presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election denialism wins JFK Profile in Courage Award

FILE - Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams speaks in the Rotunda of the state Capitol, Jan. 2, 2024, in Frankfort, Ky. Adams, who worked to expand early voting in the Bluegrass State and has spoken out against election denialism in his own party, was chosen Monday, May 6, to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

FILE - Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams speaks in the Rotunda of the state Capitol, Jan. 2, 2024, in Frankfort, Ky. Adams, who worked to expand early voting in the Bluegrass State and has spoken out against election denialism in his own party, was chosen Monday, May 6, to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

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Kentucky Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams, who worked to expand early voting in the Bluegrass State and has spoken out against election denialism in his own party, has been chosen to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year.

In its announcement Monday, the JFK Library Foundation said Adams was recognized “for expanding voting rights and standing up for free and fair elections despite party opposition and death threats from election deniers.”

Adams — whose signature policy goal is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat — was at the forefront of a bipartisan effort with Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear that led to the enactment of 2021 legislation allowing for three days of no-excuse, early in-person voting — including on a Saturday — before Election Day. Adams hailed it as Kentucky’s most significant election law update in more than a century. About one-fifth of the Kentuckians who voted in last year’s statewide election did so during those three days of early, in-person voting, Adams’ office said Monday.

As his state’s chief election officer, Adams has pushed back forcefully against false claims about rigged elections, referring to election skeptics as “cranks and kooks.”

Brian Hernandez Jr. rides Thorpedo Anna to win he 150th running of Kentucky Oaks horse race at Churchill Downs Friday, May 3, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

“There’s a lot of irresponsible chatter out there and demagoguery about us having hacked elections,” Adams said in a 2022 interview on Spectrum News 1. “It’s all hogwash. Our elections have never been hacked and are not hacked now.”

First elected in 2019, Adams won reelection by a wide margin last year after dominating his party’s primary , which included a challenger who promoted debunked election claims.

Adams, a Kentucky native and graduate of Harvard Law School, said Monday that Kennedy’s “admonition to put country before self still resonates today, and rings true now more than ever.”

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of election officials and poll workers across America who, inspired by his call, sacrifice to keep the American experiment in self-government alive,” he added.

Adams is part of an effort begun after the last presidential election that seeks to bring together Republican officials who are willing to defend the country’s election systems and the people who run them. They want officials to reinforce the message that elections are secure and accurate, which they say is especially important as the country heads toward another divisive presidential contest in November.

“It’s an obligation on Republicans’ part to stand up for the defense of our system because our party -- there’s some blame for where we stand right now,” Adams said recently. “But it’s also strategically wise for Republicans to say, ‘Hey Republicans, you can trust this. Don’t stay at home.’”

During a recent campaign rally, former President Donald Trump — the presumptive Republican nominee for president this year — repeated his false claim that Democrats rigged the 2020 election.

Just 22% of Republicans expressed high confidence that votes will be counted accurately in November, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll last year.

Adams is seen as a potential candidate for governor in 2027, when he and Beshear will be term-limited in their current jobs.

Honorary JFK Library Foundation President Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award to Adams on June 9 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

President Kennedy’s book, “Profiles in Courage,” recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. Past winners of the Profile in Courage Award include former U.S. presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama.

jfk library profile in courage essay contest

jfk library profile in courage essay contest

Adams to receive JFK Profile in Courage award

jfk library profile in courage essay contest

National Recognition Offered for Secretary of State’s Political Bravery

  Frankfort, Ky. (May 6, 2024) –  The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation has announced that it has chosen Secretary of State Michael Adams for its 2024 Profile in Courage Award.

The award, which recognizes public servants who have risked their careers by putting the public interest ahead of their own political standing, acknowledges Adams’ defense of free and fair elections in challenging times, and his work to expand voting rights despite party opposition and political and personal threats.

Caroline Kennedy and her son Jack Schlossberg will present the award on June 9, 2024 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Massachusetts. “As our nation heads to the polls this November to choose the next President of the United States, courageous Secretaries of State like Michael Adams are on the front lines protecting access to the ballot and ensuring that our nation remains a beacon of democracy,” said Caroline Kennedy, Honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

“President Kennedy’s admonition to put country before self still resonates today, and rings true now more than ever,” said Adams. “I am honored to accept this award on behalf of election officials and poll workers across America who, inspired by his call, sacrifice to keep the American experiment in self-government alive.”  

Past winners of the Profile in Courage Award include former U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama, Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and U.S. Senator John McCain.

GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election denialism wins JFK Profile in Courage Award

Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams speaks in the Rotunda...

Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams speaks in the Rotunda of the state Capitol, Jan. 2, 2024, in Frankfort, Ky. Adams, who worked to expand early voting in the Bluegrass State and has spoken out against election denialism in his own party, was chosen Monday, May 6, to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year. Credit: AP/Timothy D. Easley

Kentucky Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams, who worked to expand early voting in the Bluegrass State and has spoken out against election denialism in his own party, has been chosen to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year.

In its announcement Monday, the JFK Library Foundation said Adams was recognized “for expanding voting rights and standing up for free and fair elections despite party opposition and death threats from election deniers.”

Adams — whose signature policy goal is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat — was at the forefront of a bipartisan effort with Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear that led to the enactment of 2021 legislation allowing for three days of no-excuse, early in-person voting — including on a Saturday — before Election Day. Adams hailed it as Kentucky’s most significant election law update in more than a century. About one-fifth of the Kentuckians who voted in last year's statewide election did so during those three days of early, in-person voting, Adams' office said Monday.

As his state's chief election officer, Adams has pushed back forcefully against false claims about rigged elections, referring to election skeptics as “cranks and kooks.”

“There’s a lot of irresponsible chatter out there and demagoguery about us having hacked elections," Adams said in a 2022 interview on Spectrum News 1. “It’s all hogwash. Our elections have never been hacked and are not hacked now.”

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First elected in 2019, Adams won reelection by a wide margin last year after dominating his party's primary, which included a challenger who promoted debunked election claims.

Adams, a Kentucky native and graduate of Harvard Law School, said Monday that Kennedy's “admonition to put country before self still resonates today, and rings true now more than ever.”

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of election officials and poll workers across America who, inspired by his call, sacrifice to keep the American experiment in self-government alive,” he added.

Adams is part of an effort begun after the last presidential election that seeks to bring together Republican officials who are willing to defend the country’s election systems and the people who run them. They want officials to reinforce the message that elections are secure and accurate, which they say is especially important as the country heads toward another divisive presidential contest in November.

“It’s an obligation on Republicans’ part to stand up for the defense of our system because our party -- there’s some blame for where we stand right now,” Adams said recently. “But it’s also strategically wise for Republicans to say, ‘Hey Republicans, you can trust this. Don’t stay at home.’”

During a recent campaign rally, former President Donald Trump — the presumptive Republican nominee for president this year — repeated his false claim that Democrats rigged the 2020 election.

Just 22% of Republicans expressed high confidence that votes will be counted accurately in November, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll last year.

Adams is seen as a potential candidate for governor in 2027, when he and Beshear will be term-limited in their current jobs.

Honorary JFK Library Foundation President Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award to Adams on June 9 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

President Kennedy’s book, “Profiles in Courage,” recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. Past winners of the Profile in Courage Award include former U.S. presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama.

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GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election denialism wins JFK Profile in Courage Award

jfk library profile in courage essay contest

FILE - Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams speaks in the Rotunda of the state Capitol, Jan. 2, 2024, in Frankfort, Ky. Adams, who worked to expand early voting in the Bluegrass State and has spoken out against election denialism in his own party, was chosen Monday, May 6, to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)[ASSOCIATED PRESS/Timothy D. Easley]

Kentucky Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams, who worked to expand early voting in the Bluegrass State and has spoken out against election denialism in his own party, has been chosen to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year.

In its announcement Monday, the JFK Library Foundation said Adams was recognized “for expanding voting rights and standing up for free and fair elections despite party opposition and death threats from election deniers.”

Adams — whose signature policy goal is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat — was at the forefront of a bipartisan effort with Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear that led to the enactment of 2021 legislation allowing for three days of no-excuse, early in-person voting — including on a Saturday — before Election Day. Adams hailed it as Kentucky’s most significant election law update in more than a century. About one-fifth of the Kentuckians who voted in last year’s statewide election did so during those three days of early, in-person voting, Adams’ office said Monday.

As his state’s chief election officer, Adams has pushed back forcefully against false claims about rigged elections, referring to election skeptics as “cranks and kooks.”

“There’s a lot of irresponsible chatter out there and demagoguery about us having hacked elections,” Adams said in a 2022 interview on Spectrum News 1. “It’s all hogwash. Our elections have never been hacked and are not hacked now.”

First elected in 2019, Adams won reelection by a wide margin last year after dominating his party’s primary , which included a challenger who promoted debunked election claims.

Adams, a Kentucky native and graduate of Harvard Law School, said Monday that Kennedy’s “admonition to put country before self still resonates today, and rings true now more than ever.”

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of election officials and poll workers across America who, inspired by his call, sacrifice to keep the American experiment in self-government alive,” he added.

Adams is part of an effort begun after the last presidential election that seeks to bring together Republican officials who are willing to defend the country’s election systems and the people who run them. They want officials to reinforce the message that elections are secure and accurate, which they say is especially important as the country heads toward another divisive presidential contest in November.

“It’s an obligation on Republicans’ part to stand up for the defense of our system because our party — there’s some blame for where we stand right now,” Adams said recently. “But it’s also strategically wise for Republicans to say, ‘Hey Republicans, you can trust this. Don’t stay at home.’”

During a recent campaign rally, former President Donald Trump — the presumptive Republican nominee for president this year — repeated his false claim that Democrats rigged the 2020 election.

Just 22% of Republicans expressed high confidence that votes will be counted accurately in November, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll last year.

Adams is seen as a potential candidate for governor in 2027, when he and Beshear will be term-limited in their current jobs.

Honorary JFK Library Foundation President Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award to Adams on June 9 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

President Kennedy’s book, “Profiles in Courage,” recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions. Past winners of the Profile in Courage Award include former U.S. presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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  2. Profile in Courage Essay Contest

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  5. John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Essay Contest

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COMMENTS

  1. Profile in Courage Essay Contest

    The 2024 Profile in Courage Essay Contest opens for submissions on September 1, 2023. The contest deadline is January 12, 2024. ... The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation invites U.S. high school students to 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 ...

  2. Contest Topic and Information

    The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation reserves the right to print and display the essays and photographs of the contest winners. Contact the Contest Coordinator. Important Note: Before contacting the Profile in Courage Essay Contest Coordinator, please be sure to read over the FAQ section of this web site. Email: [email protected].

  3. Prepare Your Essay

    Prepare Your Essay. We provide several resources to help you prepare an excellent essay. We recommend you use these resources to guide your research and writing. We strongly advise students to read Contest Topic and Information and Requirements before you prepare your essay. Essays that do not meet contest requirements will be disqualified.

  4. Past Winning Essays

    Profile in Courage Essay Contest. Teachers; School Visits; Students; Profile in Courage Essay Contest. Getting Started; Contest Topic and Information; ... The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to the memory of our nation's thirty-fifth president and to all those who through the art of politics seek a new and better world.

  5. Eligibility and Requirements

    John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Edward M. Kennedy are not eligible subjects for essays. 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.

  6. John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest Winner ...

    The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation today announced that Anna Dougherty, a sophomore at Paul VI High School in Haddonfield, New Jersey, has won the national John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students. The winning essay describes the political courage of Dana Redd, the first black woman to serve as mayor of Camden, New Jersey. Mayor Redd faced fierce opposition ...

  7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    The Essay Contest is a companion activity to the Kennedy Library Foundation's annual Profile in Courage Award, which honors elected officials who have demonstrated exceptional political courage. The Award was created by the Foundation in 1989 and the Essay Contest was created in 1994. The same Committee that selects the Award winner also ...

  8. John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

    The winner of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest receives a $10,000 cash award and is invited to accept their prize at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Massachusetts during the Profile in Courage Award events—with all travel and lodging expenses paid for. In addition to the award winner, the runner-up will ...

  9. JFK Library and Museum's Profile in Courage Essay Contest (with Bard

    The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum has an annual Profile in Courage Essay Contest for 9-12th graders. Please click here to learn more. The 2024 essay topic is: "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.

  10. PDF John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

    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.

  11. Correspondence: General: 1962: April-June

    Profile in Courage Essay Contest; Earthshot Innovation Challenge: Northeast U.S. Edition; About Us. About Us. About the JFK Library; About the JFK Library Foundation; ... The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to the memory of our nation's thirty-fifth president and to all those who through the art of politics seek a ...

  12. JFK Library on Twitter: "Last year's winner of the Profile in Courage

    Last year's winner of the Profile in Courage Essay Contest ™️ shares what political courage means to her and how the subject of her essay, Rep. José Canales, demonstrated such courage. Our 2023 essay contest is open!

  13. The Ultimate Guide to the Profile in Courage Essay Contest

    The Profile in Courage Essay Contest was established in 1994 in honor of the late President John F. Kennedy, inspired by his Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Profiles in Courage.". The book highlights acts of bravery and integrity by eight U.S. Senators who risked their careers for the greater good. Following this legacy, the contest encourages ...

  14. Profile in Courage Essay Contest

    The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation invites U.S. high school students to write an essay on an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1956. The deadline for submissions to the Profile in Courage Essay Contest is January 5, 2015. In his 1956 book Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy recounted the stories ...

  15. JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest

    Each year, the contest awards up to $10,000 to winning applicants who submit 700 - 1,000 word essays following the year's prompt. Each year's prompt relates to U.S. history, with this year's being: "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.".

  16. Michael G. Adams (2024)

    The 2024 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award ® will be presented to Kentucky Secretary of State Michael G. Adams (R) for expanding voting rights and standing up for free and fair elections despite party opposition and death threats from election deniers.. Shortly after taking office in 2020, Adams put partisanship aside and worked with Democratic Governor Andy Beshear to facilitate safe ...

  17. Getting Started

    Join our mailing list to get contest tips, updates, and a reminder to submit your essay. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum does not sell or share your personal information or email address. The 2024 Profile in Courage Essay Contest opens for submissions on September 1, 2023. The contest deadline is January 12, 2024.

  18. An 18-year-old Pete Buttigieg won a JFK Library essay contest. His

    April 2, 2019. Nearly two decades ago, an Indiana high school student won a national award from the John F. Kennedy Library for his essay about a little-known Vermont congressman.Out of more than ...

  19. GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election denialism wins

    GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election denialism wins JFK Profile in Courage Award. Kentucky's Republican secretary of state, Michael Adams, has been chosen to receive the John F ...

  20. GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election denialism wins

    Honorary JFK Library Foundation President Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award to Adams on June 9 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

  21. GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election ...

    Kentucky's Republican secretary of state, Michael Adams, has been chosen to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year. Adams worked across party lines to expand early voting ...

  22. GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election denialism wins

    Honorary JFK Library Foundation President Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award to Adams on June 9 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. President Kennedy's book, "Profiles in Courage," recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for ...

  23. Adams to receive JFK Profile in Courage award

    National Recognition Offered for Secretary of State's Political Bravery Frankfort, Ky. (May 6, 2024) - The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation has announced that it has chosen Secretary of State Michael Adams for its 2024 Profile in Courage Award. The award, which recognizes public servants who have risked their careers by putting the public interest ahead of their own political standing ...

  24. GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election ...

    Honorary JFK Library Foundation President Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award to Adams on June 9 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

  25. Moscow Metro: Atlantic photo essay

    A visit to Russia is my to-do list. Great people & culture. [ Reply To This Message ] [ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ]

  26. Correspondence: Office day file: 1963: January

    Profile in Courage Essay Contest; Earthshot Innovation Challenge: Northeast U.S. Edition; About Us. About Us. About the JFK Library; About the JFK Library Foundation; ... The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to the memory of our nation's thirty-fifth president and to all those who through the art of politics seek a ...

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  30. GOP secretary of state who spoke out against election denialism wins

    Kentucky's Republican secretary of state, Michael Adams, has been chosen to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award this year. Adams worked across party lines to expand early voting ...