Lula Rose Bovino

A 2023 graduate of Watauga High School, she is attending Virginia Tech University.

Bovino is the first recipient of the Dr. Donald W. Bentley Scholarship. An accomplished visual and vocal artist, she will study visual arts at Virginia Tech.

Growing up in rural Appalachia, Bovino’s early home years included an outhouse – more specifically, a plywood board over a hole in the yard. Her father had passed away and her mother was unable to afford repairs to their broken septic tank, let alone the cost of moving. Bovino’s mother worked full time to provide books, art supplies and music for her daughter while attending nursing school. Despite their financial challenges, the family always emphasized the importance of giving back to others. 

2023 NCCF Scholar Lula Rose Bovino

When it became evident that Bovino struggled with dyslexia, her mother helped her build confidence by submitting a writing assignment to the local newspaper. 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 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. She was awarded a Congressional Silver Medal in 2022 for her efforts.