Students receive $20K scholarships from Rotary Club of Knoxville

Two students received four-year scholarships for $20,000 from the Rotary Club of Knoxville.
Two students received four-year scholarships for $20,000.
Published: Jun. 20, 2023 at 7:59 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tuesday, the Rotary Club of Knoxville awarded two four-year scholarships to high school graduates in Knoxville.

Lily Plewniak, a Farragut High graduate, and Davyn Mengeling, a Hardin Valley Academy graduate, are both headed to the University of Tennessee in the fall without debt thanks to the scholarships.

Plewniak graduated with a 4.39 GPA and scored a 29 on the ACT. She received the Rotary Club of Knoxville Scholarship and will study business and art at UT.

“Beginning college can be stressful, but I feel like with this, it’s providing a lot of security for me in financial ways and also connecting me with all these people, all the rotary members who are so supportive of my future,” said Plewniak.

Two students received four-year scholarships for $20,000.

Mengeling graduated with a 4.33 GPA and scored a 31 on the ACT. He received the Samuel L. and Juanita Weaver Scholarship. He will study computer science with a minor in cybersecurity.

Mengeling’s journey to college has been different than that of his classmates. He’s a survivor of childhood cancer. “I was diagnosed when I was three years old. What it’s called is histiocytosis,” he said.

Histiocytosis causes white blood cells to cluster and form tumors in parts of the body. Mengeling still has four tumors in his brain now.

However, that’s never held him back.

For kids who are faced with the same challenges he was, Mengeling has this message. " I would say, don’t give up. There are a lot of opportunities out there, and the world is your oyster, really,” he said.