In order to earn the Wendy’s High School Heisman distinction, whether at the school level or national level, it involves a never ending commitment to leading those around you, educating yourself in all aspects of life, and performing to your fullest whenever called upon. Since 1994, the Wendy’s High School Heisman program has honored over a quarter million High School Heisman winners for their achievements both on and off the field. Each High School Heisman embodies these unique set of characteristics—characteristics that when exhibited, not only land an elite few in New York City for Heisman week in December, but on a path toward life achievement.
Take two stories from our most recent set of National Finalists, Danielle King and Nikolaos Kotoulas:
Danielle King, 2011 National Finalist. “In order to pursue excellence, I must perform to my greatest ability every opportunity I get.” Danielle lives her life to this motto and has reaped the rewards. Off the field, Danielle earned herself the National Merit Scholarship, an honor held by some of this country’s brightest including Peter Thiel, Co-Founder of PayPal, Jeffrey Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com, and Bill Gates, Founder and Former Chairman of Microsoft. On the field, Danielle had great success in both field hockey and swimming & diving. Ultimately she chose to focus her efforts on field hockey where she currently plays at Davidson College. During her high school career she earned All-State honors in 2010 and was voted to the USA Field Hockey National Future Elite Team in 2010 as one of the Top 150 players in the country. To learn more about Danielle, watch her highlight reel from the 2011 Heisman Weekend in New York City.
Nikolaos (Niko) Kotoulas, 2011 National Finalist. “Leadership equals realizing a need and finding a way to serve it.” Niko put simply, is a leader. He is the type of individual that we look up to and follow the examples he sets forward. On the basketball court, Niko could barely be contained. He served as a 4-year varsity starter and earned All-Conference honors in 2011 while averaging 17.4 PPG and 11.4 RBG. Off the court, Niko can’t be contained. His philosophy is to “not look back and regret not practicing enough for the big game–my life.” He’s a talented pianist who often skipped his high school lunch hour to compose his own music. He organized a choir and band within his church and orchestrated concerts for local nursing homes. Niko also served as his Class President and also represented his class on the school’s 2020 Goals Committee. On this committee he helped his school set academic, transportation, and food service goals to meet by 2020. A first generation American, Niko also values the world and is passionate about domestic and foreign policy. To learn more about Niko, watch his highlight reel from the 2011 Heisman Weekend in New York City.