Wendy's Tees Up 16th High School Heisman

Awards program to showcase nation's esteemed Scholar-Athletes

DUBLIN, Ohio // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- Ladies and gentlemen: take your mark, get set, go! The 2009 Wendy's((R)) High School Heisman((R)) (WHSH) race has begun!

Celebrating the competition's 16th anniversary, Wendy's is looking for the next class of High School Heisman recipients - exceptional students who bring excellence in academics, athletics and community service.

"We all know that there's the Big Ten, the Big 12, and the Big East. But there's also the Big Three: school, sports, and community service," said Archie Griffin, two-time collegiate Heisman Memorial Trophy winner. "As a former student-athlete, I know how challenging it can be to excel on the field and in the classroom. Wendy's High School Heisman recognizes the most esteemed high school students who demonstrate stewardship at school, sportsmanship on the field and service in their communities. It's an incredible juggling act and a true testament to their indelible work ethic and commitment to excellence."

All eligible seniors may submit an application online through Oct. 1, 2009. The first 41,100 applicants will receive a free Wendy's gift card randomly valued from $5 to $50. From the completed applications, one male and one female winner will be chosen from each high school. The names of all school winners will be posted on the Wendy's High School Heisman Web site on Oct. 22, 2009. For more information, students can visit www.WendysHeisman.com, call (800) 205-6367 or contact their local high school principal, guidance counselor or athletic director.

The Wendy's High School Heisman, awarded in conjunction with the collegiate Heisman, is a joint program between Wendy's and the Heisman Memorial Trust (host of the College Heisman Memorial Trophy since 1935.) Created in 1994, WHSH has set the standard for high school student-athletes and gained tremendous prestige in its own right. To date, more than 188,000 high school students have represented their schools and been touched by the Heisman glory.

The Competition is Fierce

Given the economy and with the job market more competitive than ever, top universities are receiving record numbers of applications. The bar is being raised and it's important for high school students to separate themselves from the pack. Wendy's High School Heisman 2008 National Winner Brett Leibowitz knew he'd need to showcase a diverse list of activities and achievements if he wanted to be accepted into his top choice school.

"I've always loved sports and I work hard in the classroom, but it's my community service involvement that's been the most rewarding," Leibowitz says. "When it was time to apply for college, I was able to highlight my successes and present myself as a well-rounded person who would be a valuable asset to the university's community."

The Selection Process

The Wendy's High School Heisman program consists of six stages - applicants, school winners, state finalists, state winners, national finalists and national winners. Entries initially will be evaluated by ACT Inc. during the applicant, state finalist and state winner stages. The entries will then be passed on to a panel of distinguished judges. Known for the ACT college entrance exam, ACT is a nonprofit organization offering educational measurement and research services.

Who is eligible

  • Students entering their senior year of high school (class of 2010)
  • Students who maintain at least a "B" grade-point average and participate in at least one of 32 school-sponsored sports

How to apply

  • Applications must be completed online at www.WendysHeisman.com.
  • Each applicant must provide an accurate e-mail address of a school administrator who will log in to review the application and confirm its accuracy.
  • ACT will judge all completed application forms.
  • The names of all applicants and school winners will be posted on the Wendy's High School Heisman Web site on Oct. 22, 2009.

Awards/Recognition

  • Applicants and school winners can download a printable certificate to commemorate the accomplishment.
  • The first 41,100 applicants will receive a letter of recognition and free Wendy's gift card valued from $5 to $50 (randomly drawn).
  • School winners will receive a letter, certificate, Heisman patch and a $10 Wendy's gift card.
  • Twenty (20) students (10 male and 10 female) from each state will be recognized as state finalists and will receive a letter, bronze medal, a Heisman patch and a $25 Wendy's gift card.
  • State winners - 102 (one male and one female from each state, and the District of Columbia) - will be chosen from all state finalists and awarded a letter, silver medal, a Heisman patch and a $50 Wendy's gift card.
  • Twelve (12) national finalists (one male and one female from each of the six Heisman geographic regions) will be chosen from the state winners.
  • National finalists will receive a gold medal, Heisman patch, $100 gift card, a $2,000 cash award for their high schools and an invitation to participate in the Heisman Weekend festivities in New York City from Dec. 11-13, 2009.
  • ESPN2 will feature all 12 national finalists during the Wendy's High School Heisman awards ceremony on Dec. 13.
  • One male and one female will be named the 2010 Wendy's High School Heisman national award winners during the awards ceremony in New York City.
  • Both winners will receive an additional $10,000 award for their respective high schools, a Wendy's High School Heisman trophy, Heisman patch and a $500 Wendy's gift card.

Wendy's International, Inc. (NYSE: WEN) is one of the world's largest and most successful restaurant operating and franchising companies.

The Wendy's name and design, and the Wendy's High School Heisman name and design are trademarks of Oldemark LLC and are licensed to Wendy's International, Inc. The Heisman name and Heisman Trophy statuette are registered trademarks of the Heisman Trophy Trust, used with permission

SOURCE Wendy's International, Inc.





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