Written by Sophie Moloo ‘22. Sophia and Avery have been friends since 2012 and they have written about each other to encourage others to apply for North American scholarships.

Avery Parkinson is known to be many things: a math genius, an amazing friend, and a skilled sandwich maker to name a few. But perhaps what she is best known for at Elmwood is being a community leader. She is fittingly the Community Service Prefect and the founder of the National Sandwich Making Initiative: a project that encourages youth groups across the country to make sandwiches supporting local emergency shelters. Outside of school, she is the Executive Director of Cellular Agriculture Canada and a caregiver at a home for adults with developmental challenges.

For her diverse and sizeable contributions to her community, it was with no surprise that Avery received the Loran, a scholarship given on the basis of character, service, and the promise of leadership. It offers a fully funded post-secondary education to a Canadian university of her choice (which is McMaster!), enrichment programs every summer, mentorship, and an extensive network.

The scholarship application process could be considered the most competitive in the country, with less than 1% acceptance rate, comprised of a written application, and two stages of several virtual interviews. Throughout the application process, Avery had the opportunity to interact with many Loran Scholars and Alumni. She would often recount how amazed she was by the thoughtfulness they possessed in both the interpersonal and vocational sense. Acknowledging this, it is amazing to see Avery be a recipient of this scholarship not only because of all it has to offer but because it is evident that she will be surrounded by people that have a great drive and ambition while holding a deep sense of civic responsibility similar to hers.

The Schulich Leader is another scholarship that Avery was the recipient of, recognizing her as a part of the next generation of technology innovators. This year it was offered to 100 high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math program at 20 partner universities across Canada. 

After receiving acceptances from two of Canada’s largest undergraduate merit-based scholarships, Avery chose the Loran, for its comprehensive and holistic approach to education. After knowing Avery for the past 12 years, I am certain that she will be successful in any career she endeavours to pursue. But more importantly, I feel that she will choose work that fulfills her and impacts others profoundly—all of which will be guided by her strong values and morals. I am so proud of my best friend and I wish her all the best at McMaster. I can not envision a more fitting university for her to attend given that it is located in Hamilton, home to the Arkells (Avery’s favourite band)!