The only girl playing varsity football in the Fort Worth Independent School District is earning some fringe benefits, and we’re not talking about an extra squirt of drinking water during practice.
Reilly Fox, field goal kicker at Paschal High School, has been hanging out with A-List celebrities. She will appear on the WE Day special at 6 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 28) on ABC alongside actors (Natalie Portman, Seth Rogen, and Charlize Theron) and pop stars (Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Hudson, Ciara, and Common).
WE Day explores current social issues such as equality, the environment, homelessness and inner city violence, and connects young people with a growing movement of their peers taking action. The idea is for youth and families to create systemic change in their communities and around the world, to switch from “me” to “WE” as the movement likes to say.
The one-hour, commercial-free special will highlight the stories of Fox and other remarkable young Americans lending their voices along with celebrities to support the WE movement.
Fox, who remains the starting field goal kicker for Paschal as an 18-year-old senior, was unavailable for a phone interview. She has been traveling, including a trip to Denver where she met NFL football player Von Miller. But she agreed to answer a few questions via email leading up to this Saturday’s televised show.
How were you approached by WE Day folks?
Anna, one of the WE Day members, called me and talked to me about what I was doing with football. I told her my story and thought it was another interview, but then she called back and told me that WE Day wanted to recognize me for changing gender stereotypes.
Why did you join their cause?
I wanted other kids to hear about my story and to help inspire other kids to do whatever their minds desire and learn that it’s possible to follow their dreams. It really involves me talking about my story and telling people that WE Day is about changing the world. There really are kids out there who think more about WE and less about me and I like that.
Describe meeting Von Miller of the Denver Broncos?
I was really nervous at first. I wasn’t sure what to say but he was really nice and made me feel very welcomed. We talked for a while and he signed a football for me. That was cool. It was a great experience to meet him — he is a really nice guy. He showed me a video of him kicking a field goal. That is maybe not is his best skill. He asked me if I was left or right footed and he just made me feel very at home.
Describe meeting Demi Lovato?
I grew up watching her on Disney Channel so it was really cool to meet a girl I looked up to and the best part was I got a selife with her. We were constantly filming so we didn’t get to talk a lot, but when we did talk it was about the fact that we were both from the DFW area.
The TV show on Aug. 28 includes a lot of A-list stars –– which one of those stars were you most excited about meeting, and why?
Demi Lovato because I grew up watching her and singing to Camp Rock. I met Demi, Paula Abdul, Henry Winkler, Bridgit Mendler, Hannah Simone, and Rowan Blanchard. They were all surprised that I was football player. No one expected that.
What message do you deliver on the WE show?
I break gender inequality. I am a girl and I play football. Hopefully, I show kids that they can try any sport or activity and have fun doing it.
What are your plans for the future?
I am planning on playing college soccer, hopefully at Hendrix College in Arkansas. I love playing sports and am exploring all kinds of majors from forensics to accounting.