"Last week, the [IABG team](http://illinoisassetbuilding.org/iabg-team) was in St. Louis participating in a conference about the 529 program and [Children's Savings Accounts](http://www.brighterfuturesil.com/childrens-savings-accounts/). The conference was hosted by the [Center for Household Financial Stability](https://www.stlouisfed.org/household-financial-stability) at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and the [Center for Social Development](http://csd.wustl.edu/Pages/default.aspx) at Washington University.
There was great energy, great ideas, and great partners in the room. Here are 3 things I learned.
- Tangible Hope. William Elliott, Director of the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion described how assets, and particularly Children's Savings Accounts, can give children and families ""tangible hope."" This hope can change people's behaviors and lead to brighter futures.
- $1.4 Million in San Francisco CSAs. In the Kindergarten to College (K2C) program, they have opened 23,000 Children's Savings Accounts, and families have saved a total of $1.4 million so far.
- Nearly 99,000 CSAs in Nevada - and a Tortoise. The Nevada College Kickstart program has opened nearly 99,000 accounts for children across the state. Their universal, automatic program opens a CSA for every kindergartner, and provides an initial $50 deposit. What's more - Nevada has an enthusiastic college savings mascot. Meet Sage the Tortoise!
Finally, our favorite quote from the conference:
###""Children's Savings Accounts are needed to provide a trajectory for economic mobility.""
-Kilolo Kijakazi, [Urban Institute](http://www.urban.org/)
**Want to learn more about our efforts to create a universal CSA program in Illinois?** Visit our [new CSA website](http://www.brighterfuturesil.com/) and spread the word using #brighterfuturesil!
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