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The Challenge of Courage



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In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy reflects on the challenge of acting courageously: 
 
“In whatever arena of life one may meet the challenge of courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follows his conscience—the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow men—each man must decide for himself the course he will follow.”
 
This prompt has two steps:
  1. Summarize in a sentence what JFK is getting at—what sense do you make of his reflection on acting courageously?
  2. Write a paragraph about someone who you think exemplifies this type of courage. You could write about a historical figure, a family member, a peer, or even yourself!  Tell us about the courageous act, and explain how it relates to JFK’s reflection. 
Need an example or two? alabaanna and engi_aek put their own spin on JFK's words in these reflections on courage. 

To learn more about political courage and the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest for US High School Students, visit jfklibrary.org/essaycontest. The top 25 students will be recognized and the first-place winner receives $10,000. The contest deadline is January 18, 2019.