LIMA — Zoey Foster’s passion for social justice developed early. The Lima Central Catholic senior, who has maintained a 4.4 grade-point average and scored within the top 1% nationally on the ACT exam, once spent her allowance on toothpaste, deodorant and other necessities that were donated to a Lima homeless shelter when Foster was still in fifth grade.
For her senior capstone project, Foster studied the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal organization that has overturned wrongful convictions across the U.S.
Foster, who has played volleyball and softball throughout her high-school career, says she inherited her passion for social justice from her parents, who work in education and law.
She now plans to follow their example when she heads off to college, pursuing degrees in political science, media and pre-law to advance social causes.
On Friday, Foster was recognized for her academic achievements and community service with the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Educational Excellence Award, named for the civil-rights leader and educator, who once advised Presidents Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt and later founded the National Council of Negro Women.
“She’s always been a well-rounded (student) and she has worked hard. I could see that from the moment I met her, her freshman year,” LCC principal Stephanie Williams said. “She has a very strong work ethic. … She works hard, but she’s certainly open to learning more and what other people have to say. There is truly a genuineness in her heart.”