22nd Annual Wendy's High School Heisman Award Winners Announced

NEW YORK - Dec. 11, 2015 // PRNewswire // - Taylor Campos of Lemont, Illinois, and Zach Hughes of Town and Country, Missouri, were honored this evening as National Winners of the 22nd annual Wendy's® High School Heisman®, which recognizes high school seniors who excel in sports, academics and community involvement.

Wendy's High School Heisman recognizes high potential seniors who excel not only in their academics and athletics, but also demonstrate outstanding leadership skills through their efforts within the community. The Award was inspired by Wendy's founder, Dave Thomas, who was an advocate of education and deeply committed to providing opportunities for High School Students.

"Taylor and Zach are wonderful examples of the perfect balance between student, athlete and community member, as they represent the National Honor Society, hold leadership roles on their sports teams, and volunteer their time to community service. Both winners demonstrate a diligent work ethic that has lead them to this spot today," said Archie Griffin, two-time collegiate Heisman Memorial Trophy® winner. "Congratulations to Taylor and Zach, and all of our 2015 National Finalists. Their outstanding achievements are inspirational, and we're proud to recognize a job well done."

Taylor Campos, Lemont High School
Hometown: Lemont, Illinois

As a top scholar-athlete at Lemont High School, Taylor is a true competitor in every aspect of her life. She is a 4-year Varsity Letter Winner in Cross Country and a 3-year Varsity Letter Winner in Track & Field. Taylor holds school and conference records in both sports, along with receiving honors as All-District and All-Conference. In the classroom, Taylor is an AP Scholar with Honors, and an officer for the National Honor Society and National English Honor Society. She is also involved in her community as President of the Interact Community Service Club, tutor of STEM Special Education, and serves as a volunteer at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Zach Hughes, Westminster Christian Academy
Hometown: Town and Country, Missouri

Zach embodies a competitive spirit and skill that leads him to great success. While playing three sports in high school, Zach was named Academic All-State in Football, 3-year Varsity Letter winner, and 2-year Varsity Letter Winner in Basketball, in addition to earning the role of captain of both the Football and Track & Field team. He has been on the Academic Honor Roll all four years, and is a member of the National Honor Society. His community involvement includes volunteering for Special Olympics, counseling and mentoring peers, and leading the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Zach is also involved in Thrive, where he speaks at high school assemblies about making positive life choices.

Taylor and Zach will each receive a Wendy's High School Heisman Trophy, a Wendy's High School Heisman National Winner patch, a $500 Wendy's gift card and a $5,000 donation will be awarded to each of their high schools in their names. They will also appear on the ESPN® national telecast of the collegiate Heisman Memorial Trophy presentation on December 12.

"At Wendy's, we believe in putting quality in everything we do," said Emil Brolick, Wendy's President and CEO. "This is why we've stayed committed to honoring high school students who feel the same as we do, putting quality into their studies, athletics and extracurricular activities to improve communities throughout the country."

A panel of judges selected Taylor and Zach from 10 National Finalists – five senior males and five senior females. Wendy's honored the National Finalists at an awards ceremony at the PlayStation Theater in New York City this evening.

The other eight Wendy's High School Heisman National Finalists are:




High School



Rick Basak


Hamden High School



Maggie Beazer


Stansbury High School

Stansbury Park   


Jada Dayne


Waunakee High School



Kayla Dobies


Dakota High School



Seneca Friend   


Long Reach High School



Alek Parsons


Ogden High School



Sean Rausch


Longwood High School

Middle Island

New York

Ian Saum


Central Cass High School   


North Dakota

The initial rounds of judging were conducted by Scholarship Management Services®, a division of Scholarship America®, the nation's largest designer and manager of education assistance and recognition programs which evaluated applicants and determined thousands of School Winners, 984 State Finalists and 102 State Winners from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. After State Winners were selected, a distinguished panel of judges – from the worlds of education, business and sports, along with former college Heisman Memorial Trophy Award winners and former Wendy's High School Heisman National Winners – carefully reviewed the applications and voted on the National Finalists and National Winners.

For more information about the 2015 Wendy's High School Heisman, and to view photos and bios of the National Winners and National Finalists, as well as photos from the Heisman weekend, please visit www.WendysHighSchoolHeisman.com.

About the Wendy's High School Heisman

The Wendy's High School Heisman 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 follow in his footsteps and expect to achieve similar fame and wealth by not finishing high school or attending college.

Faced with this dilemma, at 61 years old, Dave enrolled at Coconut Creek High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and received his General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Inspired by this moment and with a desire to celebrate the outstanding achievements of youth in America, he launched the Wendy's High School Heisman.

Twenty-two years later, the Wendy's High School Heisman 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 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®. Nolan Henry of Camas, Wash., who has continued his heralded football career at Notre Dame, and Lauren Van Vlierbergen of Algonquin, Ill., who is competing on the cross country and track and field teams at the University of Michigan, received the prestigious award last year.

For a complete list of past Wendy's Heisman finalists and winners or for more information about the program, students can visit www.WendysHighSchoolHeisman.com. Participants can also "Like" and follow Wendy's Heisman on Facebook and Twitter for additional program details.

About Wendy's

The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) is the world's third largest quick-service hamburger restaurant chain. The Wendy's system includes more than 6,500 restaurants in 28 countries and U.S. territories. For more information, visit www.aboutwendys.com.

The Wendy's name and design and the Wendy's High School Heisman and design are trademarks of Quality Is Our Recipe, LLC. The Heisman Memorial Trophy, Heisman name and Heisman Trophy figure are registered trademarks of the Heisman Trophy Trust, used with permission.

SOURCE The Wendy's Company


Steven Coulombe
Ketchum Public Relations
(404) 879 – 9292


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