2023 Bentley scholarships awarded to Amelie Fawson and Lula Rose Bovino

Watauga High School seniors Amelie Fawson and Lula Rose Bovino were awarded scholarships honoring the late Don and Audrey Bentley, both Watauga County natives.

Both scholarships are administered by the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Amelie FawsonFawson received the 2023 Don and Audrey Bentley Scholarship. She is the fourth recipient of the scholarship which this year awarded $20,000 and is renewable annually for up to four years.

Fawson is one of the top seniors at Watauga High School, an AP scholar and editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper. She is also an accomplished cellist and attended the Governor’s School of North Carolina for instrumental music in 2022. She is the first chair cellist in the Watauga High School Honors Orchestra, the Appalachian Community Orchestra, and is a member of the National Performing Arts Society. In addition, Fawson works part time at Hellbender Bed & Beverage in Blowing Rock.

“Our scholarship committee was very impressed by Ms. Fawson’s maturity, concern about social justice and quality of education, and desire to raise awareness of challenges facing our planet,” said Bentley Scholarship Administrator and Watauga County Community Foundation Board Member David Harman.

Fawson is pursuing a degree in journalism and will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2022 she won the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association Daily Tar Heel Scholarship.

Lula Rose BovinoBovino received the inaugural Dr. Donald W. Bentley Memorial Scholarship, a one-time grant of $8,000 for students attending Virginia Tech. The scholarship honors Don Bentley’s high regard for and loyalty to Virginia Tech.

An accomplished visual and vocal artist, Bovino will study visual arts at Virginia Tech. She attended Anglican Voice Study in Cambridge, England, participated in the 2022 Summer Residential Intensive at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and in the North Carolina All-State Choir, and is a member of the National Arts Honor Society. Bovino has received several awards, including a 2022 Congressional Silver Medal Award and a 2023 Visual Art Gold Key.

“This new scholarship for students going to Virginia Tech honors the school that made such a difference in Don’s life and reflects the loyalty Virginia Tech students show after attending that great school,” said Harman. “Our scholarship committee was extremely impressed by Lula’s focus on the arts and on public service, and on her great desire to attend Virginia Tech.”

Bovino’s biweekly column in the Blowing Rocket newspaper, Literally Lula, led her to create a personal philanthropic organization that has raised more than $50,000 in contributions to fund projects such as the Watauga Medical Center Bear Project, Hunger Coalition food drives and Trashy Art, an initiative that displays found objects from Adopt-a-Highway garbage.

The Don and Audrey Bentley Scholarship and Dr. Donald W. Bentley Memorial Scholarship are two of 38 funds of the Watauga County Community Foundation, an affiliate of NCCF, and both were established from the Audrey L. Bentley Trust. For more information about each scholarship, visit nccommunityfoundation.org/BentleyScholarship and nccommunityfoundation.org/DonBentley.

About the North Carolina Community Foundation

The North Carolina Community Foundation is the single statewide community foundation serving North Carolina and has administered more than $217 million in grants since its inception in 1988. With more than $440 million in assets, NCCF sustains more than 1,200 endowments established to provide long-term support of a broad range of community needs, nonprofit organizations, institutions and scholarships.

NCCF partners with a network of affiliate foundations to provide local resource allocation and community assistance across the state. An important component of NCCF’s mission is to ensure that rural philanthropy has a voice at the local, regional and national levels. To learn more, visit nccommunityfoundation.org.

About the Watauga County Community Foundation

The Watauga County Community Foundation is an affiliate of NCCF that has served the community for more than three decades. It is led by a local volunteer advisory board that helps build community assets through the creation of permanent endowments, makes grants and leverages leadership – all for the benefit of Watauga County.  To learn more, visit nccommunityfoundation.org/Watauga.

Media Contacts

Hannah Hogewood, NCCF Marketing & Communications Manager
919-256-6901 (direct)

David Harman, Bentley Scholarship Administrator
828-295-7358 (home), 828-773-3746 (cell)