Every Day JFK

At Harvard’s Institute of Politics, a living memorial to President Kennedy, we work to celebrate the President’s legacy of public service every day.

In the fall of 2013, the Institute worked to showcase how our students and others honor this legacy in our work to promote politics and public service. We used the social tag “#EveryDayJFK” to highlight this effort on our social media channels (@HarvardIOP). 

read how our students are honoring President Kennedy's legacy every day;

Everyday I remember the privileges that this nation has given me, and the responsibility I have to give back. This extends beyond being a voter on election day, but being an active citizen every day.

— Tori Wenger '14, Vice President


I am constantly reminded by the possibilities of what a new generation can bring to politics. I am inspired by what we can accomplish in the decades ahead.
— Andrew Seo '14, Harvard Political Review
I am reminded daily of the incredible opportunities we have in this country. Every individual has the opportunity to make a difference in America, yet many times we get too frustrated by government or stalemates to take advantage of that opportunity. I choose to act. I choose not to get frustrated but to work towards improvement. And I don't need a position of power to do that. Talk to each other, help each other, give back to your country. Every day.
— Katie Walsh '14, Communications Director 
President Kennedy brought an energy to our politics that we didn't see for decades after his death. Today, he is a reminder that young people ought to get involved in politics because it's our responsibility to each other, not a status symbol or a pathway to power. It's our job to remember that government is of the people: by and for us.
— Matt Shuham '15, Fellows & Study Groups
The most interesting questions, for me, are the public questions-- how can we best govern ourselves? How do we make citizen involvement deeper? How can collective solutions solve the toughest problems? Answering those questions requires an every day, continued commitment to service.
— Harleen Gambhir '14
Everyday I acknowledge how politics and government can and do play a role in many aspects of my life in sometimes unexpected ways. This reminds me that politics needs to be made accessible to all people so that they can influence the processes that shape their daily lives in immediate ways. 
— Valentina Perez '15, Policy Program 
I don't quite remember how old I was when my dad and I watched 13 Days together. A movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis, it highlights one of the most intense and challenging events that faced the Kennedy administration. Even if made for Hollywood, I think it reveals what the thrust of leadership is all about: responding. To events. To other leaders. To entire countries. Granted, President Kennedy's strategic response in October of 1962 kept us from nuclear war. Still, I think it was a quality of his leadership that is all too often discounted, something I think we're all capable of.
                                                                — Inesha Premaratne '15, Women's Initiative in Leadership
It is so easy to forget how fortunate we are to live in a nation where the right to vote, to engage in government, is a guarantee. These are privileges that have been centuries in the making, and even today, they are not enjoyed by citizens of every country. To protect these rights, we must remain engaged in government. 
— Jacob Morello, John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum
President Kennedy called on each and every one of us to serve our country and our communities. Answering that call to service requires more than just staying informed and having an opinion -- it means seeking out opportunities to help those Americans who need us and to make our society more free, inclusive, and prosperous.
— Holly Flynn '15, Special Events