OUR ASSIGNMENT:  The San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment, Citi Community Development, and CFED worked together to create the first the first universal children’s savings account (CSA) initiative in the United States, a mechanism that provides every public school student with a government seeded college education fund . Our clients wanted a way to share the story of San Francisco’s “Kindergarten to College” program in order to inspire other localities to launch CSA programs of their own and to help the City of San Francisco expand participation in Kindergarten to College (K2C).

PROCESS: We interviewed key leaders and policy advocates involved in the creation of Kindergarten to College to determine the critical pieces of information a viewer would need to understand how K2C works and why CSAs are excellent tools to address economic, education, and racial inequality. We identified a participant K2C family whose story provides a human face to the initiative.

RESULTSA Foot in the Door is being distributed free of charge to policy advocates, government agencies, financial services providers, community groups, educators, and parents who want to learn more about the potential of children’s savings account programs. It has helped inspire dozens of localities and agencies across the country set up CSA programs of their own and helped San Francisco engage more educators, funders and families to participate in Kindergarten to College (produced in collaboration with Citizen Film).

“Usually when I tell people about Children’s Savings Accounts, it’s like ‘yeah, yeah, sure’ but when I can show it to them (through the video), it makes a big difference. Most of the bankers liked the idea when I explained it to them, but showing the movie was like the cherry on top. It got them super excited about it.”
— Blake Perez, Program Coordinator Community Action Partnership of Utah


  • Producers Kate Stilley Steiner and Debra Chasnoff
  • Director Debra Chasnoff
  • Director of Photography Sophie Constantinou
  • Editors Kate Stilley Steiner and Mike Chin