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Essay Contest Profiles In Courage Book

 

The Mountain Lakes History Department is proud to announce that Class of student, Daud Shad, has won the national John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students. Shad's winning essay profiles William Moore McCulloch, a Republican U.S. congressman from Ohio who in , risked his reputation, career, and standing in the Republican Party when he agreed to support civil rights legislation introduced by President Kennedy. Daud's winning essay describes how McCulloch played an instrumental role in passing the Civil Rights Act of , despite fierce opposition from his constituents and many Republican congressmen. Daud was honored at the Kennedy Library on May 8,  along with former president Barack Obama who was awarded the Profile of Courage Award.  

 

 

The essay contest is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and generously supported by John Hancock. The annual Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites high school students from across the nation to write an essay on an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official. The contest is a companion program of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, named for Kennedy&#;s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. Senators who risked their careers, incurring the wrath of constituents or powerful interest groups, to make difficult decisions in the public interest. This year, 2, essays were submitted from students in all fifty states and Washington, D.C., and from US citizens in Bulgaria, Canada, China, England, Germany, Japan, and South Korea. This is the largest response from students in the award&#;s history.

 

In his winning essay, Shad recounts how McCulloch, who represented a rural and conservative district in Ohio, agreed to a request by the Kennedy administration to help lead what promised to be a difficult fight to pass civil rights legislation. Shad writes that though McCulloch &#;was met with disapproval across Congress,&#; and faced severe criticism for working with the Kennedy administration, &#;it was his courage in the face of disapproval that was essential to the bill&#;s success.&#; McCulloch was able to convince 60 Republicans to vote in favor of the legislation, paving the way for its successful passage in the House. President Johnson eventually signed the Civil Rights Act on July 2,

 

Daud Shad is a senior at Mountain Lakes High School where he is president of both the Student Government Association and the National Honor Society. A volunteer firefighter, Shad serves as a mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and as an officer for Morris County Operation Smile. He is the son of doctors Saima Shafiq and Rauf Shad, and has an older brother Hamza who attends the University of Chicago. In September, Shad will begin undergraduate work at Yale University where he plans to further develop his writing skills while studying political science and human rights. 

 

Shad&#;s nominating teacher, Jerome Leonardi, will receive a John F. Kennedy Public Service Grant in the amount of $ to be used for school projects that encourage student leadership and civic engagement.

 

Click here to read Daud's winning essay. 

 

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

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 The deadline for submissions to the Profile in Courage Essay Contest is January 5,

In his 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 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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