Wayfinder Startup Company Product Receives 2018 Parents’ Choice Award

Startup Spotlight
October 24, 2018 By Jackie Connor

The “52 Essential Conversations” card game focuses on the social and emotional development for children and adults.

Mind Brain Parenting, a UCI Applied Innovation Wayfinder startup company, just received the 2018 Parents’ Choice Award for its card game “52 Essential Conversations.”

Developed by Jenny Woo, founder and chief executive officer of Mind Brain Parenting, the 52-deck card game is for ages five years and older and provides guiding questions about social-emotional learning with focuses in six different areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision making, and diversity and inclusion.

The 52-deck card game focuses on social-emotional learning for children and adults. Photo: Lisa Hu Chen

“The Parents’ Choice Award is certainly a seal of credibility,” said Woo, whose products focus on children and adult’s social and emotional learning. “This means a lot to me, not only because it’s the award, but also that the kids, parents and people from different perspectives really found a solid benefit in what I created to support children’s and families’ mental and emotional wellness.”

Parents’ Choice Awards is the nation’s oldest nonprofit program and was created to recognize quality children’s media, including books, toys, music, software, games, and websites, among other learning resources.

“Children – and their parents – need help navigating a screen-based world that’s more concerned about ‘me’ than ‘us,’” said Claire Green, president of Parents’ Choice Foundation. “This seemingly simple deck of cards prompts discussion about honesty, kindness, disappointment, and compassion. Our judges recognized ‘52 Essential Conversations’ for making these often-intimidating conversations as easy to spark as playing Go Fish. Turns out, families were waiting for the opportunity.”

“52 Essential Conversations” has also been ranked as the number one hottest release on Amazon’s “Children’s Education & Learning Toys for Skills Development” games and is recommended by the California Department of Education’s Social-Emotional Learning Initiative as a resource. The card game is currently used in more than 40 states and 20 countries by parents, caregivers, teachers, psychologists and pediatricians, according to Woo.

“52 Essential Conversations” is being used in more than 40 states and 20 countries. Photo: Jenny Woo, Mind Brain Parenting

Woo, who is currently a Ph.D. student at UCI’s School of Education, is also a cognitive neuroscience researcher where she develops interventions that strengthen human connections through conversations and compassion. She has worked as an educator and also as an administrator in Montessori schools, and received her MBA at UC Berkeley as well as a master’s degree in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard University’s School of Education.

Mind Brain Parenting is a part of Applied Innovation’s Wayfinder program, which supports UCI students and alumni startup companies by providing strategic networking and resources. Through this program, Woo hopes to further grow her company as well as develop several more social-emotional targeted products.

“My ultimate goal is ‘to make the world a more resilient and compassionate place for everyone,’” said Woo.

Find out more information about “52 Essential Conversations” here.

*Cover photo: Beryl Young