Y-12 Federal Credit Union awards $30,000 in scholarships to local East Tennessee seniors

Recipients were honored at an awards dinner at Zoo Knoxville with a special address from Hallerin Hilton Hill

OAK RIDGE, TN (May 22, 2023) — Recently, Y-12 Federal Credit Union (Y-12 FCU) honored six seniors by presenting each of them with a $5000 scholarship at an awards dinner held at Zoo Knoxville. With an “Into the Wild” theme, recipients dined and celebrated their accomplishments surrounded by elephants, giraffes, and zebras. Hallerin Hilton Hill delivered a special address to the students highlighting the power and importance of being “you.” To kick off the event, recipients also got to step behind the scenes and feed Zoo Knoxville’s Red Pandas.

Y-12 FCU CEO Mark Ziegler was in attendance and says he feels confident about the future of Tennessee and the nation. “It was an incredible night to share the accomplishments of six extraordinary seniors. From exemplary grades and volunteerism to manners and wonderful personalities, I believe when it’s their time to lead, they will serve as the change agents needed to move us into a promising future,” said Ziegler.

Y-12 FCU’s Bill T. Hicks Scholarship application process challenges students to get creative with the submission process and requires an essay presentation that goes through a scholarship committee panel review. In addition, students must meet several academic thresholds for consideration. This year’s recipients averaged a combined grade point average of approximately 4.2.

The 2023 Bill T. Hicks Scholarship recipients are:

– Ila Coker, Anderson County High School

– Adler Keehn, Oak Ridge High School

– Arden McDonell, Maryville High School

– Davyn Mengeling, Hardin Valley Academy

– Summer Morris, Anderson County High School

– Caroline Spurling, Anderson County High School

Each student will continue their education in the fall. Their institutions range from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Technological University, Middle Tennessee University, and James Madison University.

Named for former Board Chairman and educator, the Bill T. Hicks Scholarship was introduced in 2010. Hicks passed away on April 4, 2023, at age 84, just before this year’s awards dinner. His passion and verve for education have enabled many East Tennessee students to receive financial support through Y-12 FCU to further their education. The credit union has given over $124,000 to more than 97 recipients.

The 2024 scholarship application process will open in November 2023. For more information on how to apply and the respective qualifications, visit the Bill T. Hicks Scholarship page.

About Y-12 Federal Credit Union

Y-12 Credit Union is a full-service financial institution headquartered in Oak Ridge, TN, with 16 branches located in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Knox, Roane, Loudon, Union, and Sevier counties serving over 114,000 members. Membership is open to businesses and individuals including immediate family members that live, work, worship, or attend school within our eight-county service area. Membership may also be obtained for individuals who join the Y-12 FCU Gives Foundation. For more information about Y-12 Credit Union, visit


Alicia Strange

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