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, Florida. 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-five 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.
The 10 National Finalists are selected from 100 State Winners, made up of five senior males and five senior females from each of the five geographic Heisman regions. National Finalists receive a $1,000 college scholarship. The eight (8) National Finalists who are not named the National Winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship.