Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sydney graduated in 2012 from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in public health and a minor in public policy. Sydney was an active leader in multicultural coalitions on campus where she focused on improving recruitment and retention efforts for underrepresented Asian Pacific Islanders. As a student senator, she advocated for the allocation of more university resources for students of color. Sydney has also organized monolingual Chinese homecare workers to advocate for their rights and served as the commissioner on the City of Berkeley’s Community Health Commission. She was a Public Policy International Affairs Fellow at the University California, Berkeley in 2012.
Sydney provided recommendations for strategic partnerships and community engagement to improve participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in Washington. Sydney interviewed SFSP sponsors, advocates, and state agencies in Washington and states similar to Washington with high participation rates in SFSP. Sydney also developed plans for high-need counties to implement recommendations and expanded upon the Summer Meals Resource Toolkit for Professionals, a guide that teaches local providers strategies to implement and maintain an effective program.
Sydney researched Refugee Medical Assistance and Medicaid in each state to ensure that Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation is inclusive of refugee communities. As a part of this research, she facilitated calls with each state to inform updates to Refugee Medical Assistance policy. Sydney also furthered outreach and partnership initiatives with refugee-serving organizations and supported Refugee Health Promotion grant activities.
"A Call to the Table: Ending Summer Hunger in Washington" highlights five opportunities for growth in the summer meals program and profiles high-need counties that can benefit from strategic partnerships and resource mobilization. These profiles demonstrate the need for summer meals in each county, present goals for improvement, and identify new partners and how they can increase participation in summer meals.