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Muscle Shoals, ALABAMA—While many financial institutions are scratching their collective heads trying to figure out how to crack the millennial code, Listerhill Credit Union has been taking the credit union philosophy to high schools throughout northwest Alabama and southcentral Tennessee.

The credit union philosophy of texting, social media, and stoking inter-county rivalries, that is.

In an effort to introduce Listerhill’s youth initiative, The Hill, to local high school students, Listerhill promoted its After School Ambush contest to 54 high schools representing more than 15,000 students in Listerhill’s service area. Over the course of several weeks, the contest encouraged students to text a special keyword identifying their school to a pre-assigned number during a given week.

When each voting period closed, Listerhill would contact administrators for the school with the highest number of votes in each county and arrange a surprise “ambush” for the students on the following Friday. Each winning school received an onsite party complete with music, games, refreshments, hundreds of swag items for students and teachers, and a $500 check. In all, Listerhill “ambushed” seven area high schools over a five-week period.

“Thirty thousand text votes later, we believe that this contest did what we hoped it would,” said Listerhill Marketing Director Chris Anderson. “At a time when many high school students are establishing their first accounts, we are bringing The Hill to them in a way that is highly interactive and fun.”

Not only did Listerhill use The Hill website as the contest hub, but it also promoted the contest, made announcements, and posted updates using The Hill’s Facebook page and SET Magazine as well as its Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Anderson said that another way Listerhill created more excitement for the contest was through a working relationship with The University of North Alabama.

“Having the University at an After School Ambush event really made it seem like a collegiate tailgate environment and even more appealing to the students,” Anderson said. “We’re appreciative to the University for sending their mascot and other student representatives to increase the effectiveness of this effort.”

The Hill is also the name of Listerhill’s branch located in The Commons at the University of North Alabama. With two member service stations, The Hill’s fully-trained students, or Financial Gurus, assist their peers during business hours. After hours, a sleekly-designed Smart-ATM can assist students by accepting deposits or making withdrawals, allowing the open-design branch to truly always be open.

The Hill would not be complete without Listerhill’s Director of Financial Literacy, who manages the branch and provides additional resources to students. Matthew Van Ormer, who serves as Director of Financial Literacy, helps guide students on a one-to-one basis as well as teaches a Financial Literacy course to classes and student organizations.

“Listerhill remains committed to serving all segments of our membership, including those who are beginning their financial journeys,” said Brad Green, President/CEO of Listerhill Credit Union. “The Hill is a great representation of how Listerhill focuses not only on creating positive experiences for our members, but also promotes financial literacy and being an active part of our local communities.”

About Listerhill Credit Union

Listerhill Credit Union is a nonprofit, member-owned financial cooperative.  Founded by Shoals residents 63 years ago, Listerhill has grown to include 84,000 members, $671 million in assets and 18 branches serving northwest Alabama and south central Tennessee.  For more information, please visit or call 800-239-6033.

The Hill is Listerhill’s account for those 15 to 29 years old.  The Hill account offers free checking with no minimum balance, a free debit card, and free mobile banking in addition to on-campus access to a student-run Listerhill branch.  There is also an “Oops Refund” feature that provides accountholders refunds on insufficient funds or overdraft fees up to five times annually.