Henry Cowherd is a prime example of our endeavor. He was raised on the East side of Aurora and in 1945 graduated from East Aurora High School. He became the first African American elected to the East Aurora School Board, where he served for 13 years. He was a stalwart volunteer in East Aurora schools, and he was honored by the Illinois State Board of Education as one of "Those Who Excel" in recognition of his volunteerism and leadership. In 1991, the East Aurora Board of Education unanimously voted to name the district's third middle school in his honor, H.W. Cowherd Middle School. Henry was recognized by the AAHAB where a scholarship was named in his honor as a longtime community leader and 2008 African-American Leader of the Year.
Annually, the AAHAB hosts the Heritage Dinner where it honors the Henry Cowherd Scholarship recipients, awarded to high school seniors of African descent who are in good academic standing, demonstrate innovative leadership, and who give back through volunteer service in and outside of school.