Venus Manly Scholarship


The Center for Spiritual Living established a scholarship fund in 2014 in the name of a young member, Venus Manly who transitioned early in her young life and left a big smile that would warm the hearts for all to remember her.

Starting in 2018, the Center for Spiritual Living will offer an opportunity for St. Johns County graduating seniors to benefit from The Venus Manly Scholarship Fund. We invite St Johns County graduating seniors to share their ideas in an essay about their plans on how they will make the world a better place through their education. They will present these ideas during a committee interview to win one of three $1,000 scholarships.

Download the scholarship application here.


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Venus Manly Scholarship Fund,
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First Time Scholarship Program Initiated


St. Augustine, May 10, 2018-On Thursday evening, May 4th three amazing high school seniors became the first recipients of the Venus Manly Scholarship. This scholarship was established in memory of Venus who was a member of the Center for Spiritual Living who passed away at age 14. Venus loved learning, and through this scholarship, she will make an impact in the world.


Eleven seniors from St. Johns County High Schools entered for an opportunity to earn this scholarship by writing an essay on how to make the world a better place. A committee read the essays and interviewed the finalists. The committee chose three winners based on the total scores of the essay and interview. They were all from Ponte Vedra High School. These graduating seniors also identified their plans for attending college: Elizabeth Fox will attend Notre Dame University, Zuri Goodman will attend Yale University, and Victor Manly will attend Nova Southeastern University.


The four semi-finalists received an honorarium in recognition of their ideas and conscientiousness in applying for this scholarship. They are Marc Moreira from Nease High School, John Kasting from Ponte Vedra High School, Jasmine Brody from Pedro Menendez High School, and Amber Kidd from Pedro Menendez High School.


Tongila Manly, the mother of Venus and also a member of the Center for Spiritual Living, coordinated the scholarship program and worked with high schools throughout St. Johns County to promote it to students regardless of merit or financial need. The idea was to stimulate a reflection on big ideals that the student can see themselves accomplishing. Reverend Ken Wilcox who presented the award at the Ponte Vedra High School Senior Awards Night encouraged the high school graduates to dream large to make a major impact on the world.