The Woodson Warriors Scholarship Auction began in 2019 with only founder Jane Bunker’s lily paintings and a dream. Now, the scholarship auction raises more than $50,000 annually and plans to add 10 more students to the recipient fund.
For the third year, the scholarship will grant Black high school seniors in St. Petersburg up to $5,000 annually to continue their education.
Currently there are 11 active Woodson Warriors.
“We’re planning on adding 10 more students to the program,” Bunker said. “If we do really well, we’ll add more.”
Funds come from donations, but largely from the annual art auction at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum.
“We want to get as many people involved as possible,” Bunker said. “I believe in these students.”
This year, the auction on March 14, at 5 p.m., will be virtual.
It features works from St. Petersburg artists Mark Aeling, Jane Bunker, Steven Kenny, Duncan McClellan and Brenda McMahon.
“Anything I can do to help these students accomplish their dreams,” artist Steven Kenny said. “They have some serious potential.”
Lauryn Latimer was a senior at the Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) program at Lakewood High School when she received the Woodson Warrior Scholarship.
“It feels good to be a part of this, and know that more kids who look like me are going to receive support,” Latimer, who is studying communication sciences and disorders at the University of South Florida, said.
The annual $5,000 she collected made a small dent in her tuition, but she knew somebody was rooting for her.
“When I transferred from Florida State to the University of South Florida, I was scared to tell my family I was leaving my dream school,” Latimer said. “But I knew everyone from Woodson would be proud of me no matter what I chose to do.”
The gallery at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum will remain open from March 1 to 13, by appointment only. Registration for the March 14 virtual auction is free. College-bound seniors are encouraged to apply until April, 1, 2021. More at woodsonmuseum.org/support/woodson-warrior-scholarship.