CDS Student Wins Queen’s Chancellor Award: Will Join Her Two Sisters at Queen’s in September

Kim Sillcox
Avery Benlolo ’21 had just finished her afternoon class online, when she checked her emails and learned she had been accepted to her first choice - Queen’s Commerce. A little while later, she received a second email informing her that she was a recipient of a prestigious Queen’s Chancellor Scholarship; the same coveted award her eldest sister Lexi won three years ago.
Thanks to COVID, both her sisters who already attend Queen’s but are currently studying online from home, were right there to celebrate Avery’s exciting news. Amanda ’19 is majoring in Kinesiology, while Lexi ‘18 is also studying Commerce. The two are roommates in Kingston and cannot wait to have Avery join them in September.

Applying for a Queen’s Chancellor Scholarship is a rigorous undertaking. You must demonstrate a strong academic ability through a carefully crafted one-page essay and faculty recommendation, creative and original thinking through a one-page creative component, and proven leadership qualities through volunteer, extra-curricular or work-related endeavours, as well as be nominated by your high school. A school of CDS’s size (250 students or less in Grade 12) may only nominate one student.

Avery has always been a highly dedicated and ambitious student throughout her CDS career. A long-time member of the DECA business club, she holds the position of President this year, has played competitively on the tennis team, served as peer-tutoring coordinator, and participated in the Model UN club, all while maintaining a 99% average.

For her creative component, she chose to present her journey thus far in storybook format, illustrating her life highlights, including examples of how both she and her sisters’ entrepreneurial spirit, buoyed by their parents’ continuous support, have helped her to achieve her most recent accomplishment. Her story finishes with her as a student at Queen’s next year.

Lexi describes their family this way: “Everything we do is about doing things together. We are an extremely close family. Our parents’ ongoing support and the endless opportunities they have presented us with are the foundation and fuel to our successes – both entrepreneurial and educational.”

Although Avery was always the littler sister growing up, she was very much included in the three sisters’ decision to launch The Pampered Pillowcase, a philanthropic venture they started in 2014. As stated on their website, “We provide "Pampered Pillows" to women in shelters/centres within the community. This pillowcase is filled with items such as pyjamas, slippers, manicure kits, blankets – things that will make women feel special and ultimately pampered.”

The three like to refer to this effort as “Sisters helping sisters” and have expanded it to 10 chapters across North America, including York Region, Toronto, New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and now Kingston. More recently, they have put together a Lead Your Own Chapter package and marketed it on Instagram so that young women with philanthropic tendencies like the Benlolo sisters can take this formula and replicate it.

An entrepreneur at heart, Avery also launched her own natural skin care business in 2015 - Sweet Scrubs N' Stuff. As an 11-year-old, she recognized she suffered from dry skin and set about finding a solution. Her product line offers a wide range of handmade, all natural skin care products that work for all skin types and are free from chemicals and artificial ingredients. Until COVID, she was a regular vendor at the Aurora Farmer’s Market and the annual CDS Holiday Fair.
 
These experiences, in addition to the encouragement and drive to strive for success instilled by her older sisters and parents, have shown her that anything is possible. We wish her well!
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13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5
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Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.