The Wendy’s® High School Heisman® Scholarship was created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas in 1994. Dave Thomas dropped out of high school when he was 15 years old in order to work full-time and went on to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. While this nontraditional path led to his prosperity, it always worried Dave that others would expect to achieve similar fame and wealth by not finishing high school or attending college.
Faced with this dilemma, at 61 years old, Dave took the required classes to earn his General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and was honored at a ceremony at Coconut Creek High School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL,. The senior class of 1993 embraced their honorary classmate by inviting Dave and his wife Lorraine to the senior prom and voting him “Most Likely to Succeed.” Inspired by his desire to celebrate the outstanding achievements of youth in America, he launched the Wendy’s High School Heisman program.
Twenty-two years later, Wendy’s has honored more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors who share Wendy’s values of giving back to their communities, treating people with respect, continuing education and excelling on the athletic field.
Wendy’s High School Heisman is a joint program between Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust, host and custodians of the Heisman Memorial Trophy®.
National Finalists are invited to New York City for Heisman Weekend activities, including the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Ceremony, held December 9, 2016, where the two National Winners will be announced.
Members of New York’s Downtown Athletic Club’s Heisman Trophy® Committee helped Wendy’s create the Wendy’s High School Heisman Program—the only other program to be associated with the Heisman name. Each year, the Heisman Trophy Trust awards the Heisman Memorial Trophy® to the most outstanding college football player in the United States.
Scholarship America is focused on providing access to higher education through scholarships and tuition assistance. In the past 37 years, Scholarship Management Services has become the nation’s leading administrator of education assistance programs, including scholarship, tuition assistance, grant and award programs.