Herndon Champion Program


The mission of the Foundation is to increase awareness and appreciation of the significance of the Herndon family, perhaps the most prominent African­-American family in Atlanta’s history. Alonzo Herndon rose to prominence as an entrepreneur and a philanthropist, despite being born into slavery. Norris Herndon expanded the family’s legacy, establishing institutions that continue to exist until this very day. In sum, the Herndons’ story exemplifies the merits of hard work and strategic thinking.

In honor of the Herndon Legacy, and in line with the Family’s dedication to education, the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Foundation has launched the Herndon Champion Program. This program engages students enrolled in local colleges to nurture their entrepreneurial interest by creating opportunities for mentorship, introductions to local business leaders and decision makers, and community involvement.

The Herndon Champion Program offers a practical, hands-on approach to equip students to be productive and caring citizens of the world and to foster their entrepreneurial nature as they become what they have been designed to become.

Students who qualify for the scholarship must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Completion of a scholarship application
  • Submission of a 300-word essay on the Herndon story and how it personally applies to their lives
  • Full-time enrollment with a 3.0 GPA as a college student or high school senior
  • Demonstration of character and leadership

Other considerations include:

  • Prior participation in the Alonzo F. Herndon Game Changer Entrepreneur Program, a high school-based program designed to promote entrepreneurship
  • Connections to Atlanta’s Vine City area
  • Interest in participating as a volunteer at the Herndon family’s historical home

Students accepted into the Herndon Champions program are enrolled in the eight-month program, and included in several enrichment seminars, leadership training and a community service project. With a focus on mentorship, students are partnered with 11th and 12th grade student groups and challenged to coach 11th grade groups of students through the development of a business plan and 12th grade students through creating detailed and real-life business challenges unique to their own team goals and objectives. Champions are trained on the program curriculum and familiarized with their roles and responsibilities as mentors, as well as coached in working with high school students and facilitating small groups.

To apply, download and complete our Herndon Champion Overview and Application 2018 and submit the completed form to Program Director, Julissa White Smith at jwsmith@herndonhome.org.

Please contact the Herndon Foundation at 404.581.9813 for more information.