LatinaLista — When we hear the term "Heisman Trophy," most of us, who aren't even football fans, know that this is the highest award to give a college football player. In most cases, it's like the golden ticket to that player's future in the National Football League.
Well, it so happens that since 1994 the Wendy's hamburger chain has been working with the Heisman Memorial Trust to recognize high school students who embody excellence in -- "athletics, academics and community service."
Called the Wendy's High School Heisman, the award entails:
Â· Recognizing twelve National finalists who 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.
Â· Featuring all 12 national finalists on ESPN2 during the Wendy's High School Heisman awards ceremony on Dec. 13.
Â· Naming one male and one female the 2010 Wendy's High School Heisman national award winners during the awards ceremony in New York City.
Â· Awarding both winners 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.
To qualify to apply, students must be a high school senior for the 2009-2010 academic year, graduating with the Class of 2010, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and participate in a school-sponsored sport.
The first 41,100 people to apply receive a free Wendy's gift card randomly valued from $5 to $50.
However, the program's organizers are reaching out to the Latino community because, to date, though over 188,000 high school students have been selected over the course of the program to represent their schools only 1% of those students has been Latino.
Something is wrong here and organizers want to reverse this disturbing statistic.
To do that, we have to
1. Make our students aware that this program exists.
2. Encourage a well-rounded high school experience for our students through: participating in athletics, studying hard and caring about their grades and sharing their time with those organizations that need extra hands and bodies to help serve their communities.
There's no reason why a Latino and a Latina can't be a Wendy's High School Heisman.