Back To School — Forward with Confidence


Jonathan Bregel


Nina Day


The concept of the GapKids ‘Forward with’ campaign was the celebration of progress, extending the idea of “dressing” beyond just clothing to focus on the traits and behaviors that lead to a child’s success. This project included sharing the stories of both children, as well as the teachers, mentors, and parents who take the time every day to dress kids with courage, kindness and possibility.


We dove into nationwide research to find the mentors who are working directly with children outside of traditional school curriculum. Through outreach and interviews, we were able to connect with iconic mentors and their students. We engaged with community organizations, educational facilities, and extracurricular programs across the country in order to find truly poignant stories that fully encompass the message of providing children with the support they need to grow and thrive. The final cast included three mentors: Jasmyn Wright who uses mantras to inspire confidence and a positive mindset, Andres Gonzalez who is the co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation which educates on the importance of mindfulness and meditation, and Sasha Sicurella, the founding director of the I AM: International Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works globally to provide opportunities for children to explore their identity through art and self portrait photography. 


Additionally, GapKids partnered with Lionsgate in their #ChooseKind movement, an initiative to bring an educational program that focuses on teaching acts of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to third through sixth grade students. This program led up to the release of the film Wonder, based on the novel by R.J. Palacio and starring Jacob Tremblay, which tells the story of a child living with a facial difference. For this aspect of the campaign, we worked directly with organizations including the Children’s Craniofacial Association (CCA) and the Cleft Palate Foundation to include children living with a facial difference. The shoot brought together children from all backgrounds, allowing them to learn from one another and share their stories and experiences.

NINA DAY is a casting and creative agency inspired by the limitless discovery of who will tell your story with elevated authenticity. We are storytellers and problem solvers, providing creative and strategic support from start to finish on every project with our global creative collective. Our casting strategy leads to innovative growth for brands, filmmakers, audiences, and visual storytellers.

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