JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --
In a military community, support and encouragement can offer the foundation for success and accomplishment.
Military children are often caught in the crossfire of a lifestyle marked by instability and unpredictability.
Sydnie Rouleau, 15, and her younger brother Lance, 12, have learned this concept first hand. In an effort to give back to a community that has offered support, guidance and a home away from home, Sydnie and Lance, launched an initiative to offer financial support to members of their military community. Their efforts have culminated in the formation of a non-profit organization, suitably named the Rouleau Foundation.
Inspired by their parents, Lt Col. Nelson Rouleau, Pacific Air Forces Strategy and Campaigns Branch chief and Dr. Lisa Rouleau, to do something profound for the military community, Sydnie and Lance came up with four areas to focus their efforts. Sydnie laid out a plan for service.
"The foundation focuses on four strategic areas: education opportunities, military veteran advocacy, military children issues and advocacy for military families," she said.
Lance is currently raising funds to offer scholarships that would cover school books for Air Force members enrolled in four-year academic programs, while Sydnie has invested her time in raising awareness, specifically for issues affecting military women.
When asked about her motivation for investing her time and energy in her community, Sydnie offered a quote from businessman Lindsay Fox, "If you believe you can make a difference, then you will make a difference. Believe in yourself, your family and your community and you will win."
Sydnie went on to highlight her personal investment in gender equality, which led her to focus on issues effecting military women and girls. Specifically, she hopes to raise awareness and offer support to female Airmen balancing motherhood, a professional career and education.
Lance, motivated by his parents' pursuit of higher education, found an interest in helping Air Force members offset some of the financial cost of higher education.
"My mom and dad always taught me education is the most important goal I can strive for," he went on to share. "I grew up listening to my dad and mom tell stories about how financially challenging it was for them to raise my sister and I while saving for the future and paying for their education on my father's senior airman's salary. I knew one day, I would find a way to help other families."
Together, Sydnie and Lance have filed the necessary paperwork establishing their non-profit, enlisted donors and support from businesses, created a webpage and established a social media presence. For more information about Sydnie and Lance's adventures in service, check out their foundation website at www.rouleaufoundation.org