2006-05-05 / Community

Loffredo Takes Kennedy Library Honors

Ben Loffredo, the fifteen-year-old grandchild of Rockaway resident Sylvia Hershkoff, will be honored by Caroline Kennedy and other members of President Kennedy's family during the May 22 "Profile in Courage" Award ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston for his prize-winning entry in the national John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students. Ben is a sophomore at the Fieldston School in the Bronx, New York.

Loffredo, his grandmother, and his parents will be the guests of the Kennedy family and the Kennedy Library Foundation at the May 22 Profile in Courage Award ceremony in Boston. Loffredo will share the stage with this year's Profile in Courage Award recipients, Former Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora and U.S. Representative John Murtha.

The annual Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites students from across the nation to write an essay about a political issue at the local, state or national level and an elected official in the United States who is acting or acted courageously to address that issue. The contest is a companion program of the Profile in Courage Award, named for President Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage , which recounts the stories of American statesmen, the obstacles they faced, and the special valor they demonstrated despite the risks.

"Congratulations to Ben Loffredo," said John Shattuck, CEO of the Kennedy Library Foundation. "His award-winning essay was singled out from the nearly two-thousand that were submitted this year. The essay contest honors President Kennedy who believed deeply in the power of the individual and the promise of our nation's young people to make a difference in our world. It is gratifying to see how readily students today can identify and understand acts of political courage and their importance in our democratic society."

Loffredo is the son of Helen Hershkoff and Stephen Loffredo. He plays the cello in a metropolitan youth symphony, part of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, is on the school tennis team, and helps to design sets for his school's theater productions. He is also a class representative in the Fieldston School's student government and is interested in politics and political life.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and supported, in part, by the Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization. The Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.

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