first_imgMisty Ashdown hasn’t had the easiest path to her last year of high school. After entering foster care at age 11, she has overcome an adolescence of unstable circumstances to reach a point of helping others.The Union High School senior has lived with three foster families since entering the system. In that time, Ashdown learned to never rely on other people for much — a mind-set she said softened the adjustment of entering new families and the reality of never having the same lifestyle as her peers.If you’d like to contribute to Misty Ashdown’s donation drive, contact Union High School Culminating Project Coordinator Connie Hennessey at 360-604-6250.That personal experience inspired Ashdown’s culminating project that focuses on the needs of foster youths.“I thought since I’ve been through the system I know what it’s like, and I want to help people,” Ashdown said.The culminating project is a graduation requirement that includes a research essay, 15 hours of community service and a presentation. Those components are completed during a student’s junior and senior years.“A lot of kids will choose the big national issues as their project topics,” said Connie Hennessey, who coordinates the projects at Union High School. “Then others will choose things, like Misty did, that are much closer to home.”last_img