Many in the Foxcroft community noticed a bit of excitement around Schoolhouse last Wednesday when a small film crew — three people, masked and following Foxcroft protocols — from A Starting Point
(ASP), a website, app, and media distribution platform co-founded by actor and director Chris Evans, filmmaker and actor Mark Kassen, and media and technology entrepreneur Joe Kiani — visited campus. During third period, the crew filmed history teacher Erika Page and girls from her class as they used the ASP Homeroom civic engagement platform, one of the tools provided as part of the CloseUp Foundation’s Empowering Female Voices (EFV) program
“It’s been an honor to participate in these programs with CloseUp,” offers Ms. Page. “I went into it in October with no idea how this kind of online initiative might work, but quickly recognized the value of a safe space to discuss tough issues, and the ASP Homeroom
program has been a natural extension of that.”
Throughout the school year, Ms. Page and Foxcroft students have been invited to participate in EFV sessions. The first session offered multiple workshops on civil discourse leading up to the presidential election. Foxcroft students were so engaged in these workshops that two applied and were invited to speak during the Women in Politics Forum.
The second session offered workshops around how to research and deliberate critical policy issues, and ways to activate members of their communities to take action on the issues that matter most to them. Again, due to Foxcroft students' and Ms. Page’s active engagement, they were asked to participate in the pilot program for ASP Homeroom. These cross-cultural and interactive lessons and learning opportunities between different schools, communities, and states on issues surrounding government and politics certainly brought the topic to life.
From there, four Foxcroft students — freshmen Madison B., Eva C., Sarah F., and Marley F. — were invited to ask questions during a live ASP Homeroom event
with Chris Evans and Mark Kassen. Sarah asks her question of Chris Evans at the 35-second mark and Marley addresses Congressmen Cuellar and McCaul at 1:07. Madison and Eva also asked questions but aren’t featured in this short video.
All of that ultimately led to last week’s filming.
“It was exciting to see everyone show up and participate in the discussion and contribute really thoughtful and insightful points,” offered Kennedy C. ’24. “Filming was a really fun and different experience. It was really cool to work with the camera and see the process of getting the ‘perfect shot’ for the video.”
“I was excited to be part of the filming for the ASP video,” echoed Bianca M. ’21. “It was interesting to see how much effort and time goes into filming a short video.”
Eva C. ’24 added, “It felt like we were in a movie while they were filming us and I got to learn new information in the process.”
“Our students have had a lot of opportunities,” reflects Ms. Page. “They've been asked to present to national audiences of girls from all over the country, audiences of teachers and administrators who sought more information about the programs, women politicians who gave suggestions regarding policy plans, two Texas Representatives, and the cofounders of ASP: Chris Evans and Mark Kassen. In each and every situation, our students have been confident, polished, and brilliant! I'm incredibly proud and honored to be part of this with our fantastic students.”
The third session of Empowering Female Voices began earlier this week. Nine Foxcroft students are participating and the focus of these workshops is deliberation for the understanding of issues touching on justice, equity, and belonging.