Sydney grew up volunteering in soup kitchens. By age fifteen, she was running disaster response food drives and serving as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician in several developing countries, including Haiti, Rwanda, Myanmar, and Nicaragua. Sydney created So Others Are Protected (SOAP), a self-empowerment initiative that addresses issues surrounding sanitation and the spread of disease in the under-resourced world. The program coordinates with underserved communities to recycle soap from regional luxury hotels, promote sanitation and health education, emphasize community capacity building, and provide alternative livelihoods for at-risk women and girls.
SOAP also trains and empowers young women to become peer educators and community health leaders. To date, Sydney’s program has worked with fourteen community partners and thirteen hotel partners, while producing and distributing over 50,000 bars of recycled soap. Sydney was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, the Daily Points of Light Award, and the Robert Shepherd Leadership Award.