The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum Foundation invites high school seniors who are residents of Barnstable (Cape Cod), Nantucket or Dukes (Martha’s Vineyard) counties to participate in an essay competition every March and relate the personal meaning of one of President Kennedy’s quotes to the student’s own civic engagement experiences.

2024 Quote for JFK Hyannis Museum Essay Contest:

The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of our planet.” – President John F. Kennedy, Speech to a joint session of the Dail and the Seanad, Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963. 


  • Applicants must be residents of Barnstable (Cape Cod), Nantucket or Dukes (Martha’s Vineyard) counties.
  • Students must be enrolled in senior year of high school.

Submission Guidelines:

  • An introduction that outlines the main ideas of your essay, including your personal interpretation of President Kennedy’s quote.
  • A description of your own civic engagement experiences and how those efforts relate to trying to make a difference in your community, state, and/or country.
  • Explain how these experiences will shape your future.
  • 300-500 words in length.
  • Transmit by email the following information:
    • Student name
    • Home address
    • Cell phone number
    • Email address
    • College acceptance letter copy or letter of intent for a certificate program 
    • Copy of your most recent transcript including semester and cumulative GPA
    • Or attach a copy of your school’s scholarship application


  • The winner will be asked to read their essay to the Board of Directors of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. 
  • All contestants agree to allow the museum to publish their essays, names and graduating high school on the museum website.
  • Scholarship will be paid to the student directly upon proof of acceptance to a four-year college or accredited institution of higher education.
  • The deadline to apply is March 29, by sending an attachment containing the essay to  The museum foundation board will vote on essay recommendations at the board meeting held in May (typically the third week of the month).

The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3  non-profit organization.

Have Questions? Contact Wendy Northcross, Museum Director at or text 508-364-4557.

 2023 Scholarship Recipient Luc-Andre’ Sader

My name is Luc-Andre’ Sader, and my dream is to be a part of the future of agriculture, applying advanced technologies to feed the world’s expanding population and protect our planet.” This first sentence in the cover letter for the scholarship application was a clear stand-out for the JFK Hyannis Museum Foundation selection committee. The museum awarded Mr. Sader a $2500 scholarship based on his academic achievements and his essay relating to one of President Kennedy’s inaugural address quotes.

Luc-Andre’ Sader expanded on the quote: “Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”

“Once again, we were mightily impressed by the depth and breadth of the responses from 40 Cape and Islands students,” said Anne-Marie Litchfield, a scholarship committee member who presented Mr. Sader with his award. “We are proud to help Luc-Andre’ in his higher education pursuits and approach to global problem solving,” she said.

Scholarship funds are generated by the thousands of visitors to the JFK Hyannis Museum each year. Students who reside on Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard are eligible for higher education scholarships paid directly to the student.

The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum Foundation preserves and promotes the legacy of President Kennedy, his family, and their deep connection to Cape Cod. The museum is located at 397 Main Street and is open year-round.

Luc-Andre’ Sader’s Essay

While analyzing the script of The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, my favorite English teacher said, “I’m looking forward to the day a race of aliens invades our planet, because then humanity can stop squabbling amongst themselves and finally unify against one common enemy.” I never forgot those words and I find it fascinating that years later I’m relating her words to those of President John F. Kennedy, who paid the price of a life cut tragically short because of his words and ideas. As a Barnstable High School senior going out into the world, the quote from Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address as well as Mrs. Burch’s words of wisdom inspire hope, that even the most complex and daunting problems facing humanity can be solved if we work toward solutions together.

Recently, I had the pleasure of organizing and assisting the MA PFAS and Your Health Study with youth and community outreach. PFAS is a series of chemicals that are dangerous to human health in high levels, particularly when consumed in drinking water. Until 2016, Hyannis’ public drinking water had the highest concentration of PFAS in the state, an issue that though resolved, continues to be surrounded by division and anger. I began to realize that instead of finger pointing, what we as a community need most is education to better understand the potential effects of this chemical exposure on our health and how we can best work together toward a PFAS free environment. So, I raised the issue as part of my work with the Barnstable Youth Commission to see what difference we as youth leaders could make. As a result, the Youth Commission joined forces with the Barnstable and Sturgis High School Environmental Clubs to organize an event called PFAS and Your Community which brought together more than 75 community members who wanted to know more. Speakers included our state senator and representative, a public works official, scientists, town counselors and advocacy groups. Both republicans and democrats and a variety of viewpoints were in attendance. While at times discussion was contentious, we were able to leave the finger pointing behind, answer questions respectfully, get accurate information and share gratitude for all the success and efforts we have achieved and continue to achieve together to improve the health of our community.

I was really proud to be part of creating this important event. Having grown up in a time where division often seems to be the only focus of public discussion, the success of our event left me feeling hopeful for what is possible for future generations. This is but one opportunity I have had to work on difficult issues during my time on the Youth Commission. There are so many critical problems we face as humans, and just as Mrs. Burch and JFK said, it is now my mission in life and leadership to leave division behind, listen openly and bring people together to find unified solutions. All of our futures depend on it.

Photos below are from BHS Senior Night when the scholarship recipient was announced.  Luc-Andre’ Sader and his parents are pictured with Paul Hart Miller,  JFK board member and scholarship committee member.