|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, USA|
Tech, Health & Wellness, Parenting
|Press Contact||Kristina Jones|
Guardian Lane is a children's mental health platform that is bringing children's grief counseling on-demand with the belief that help should no longer be tied to a physical location or time commitment. Children watch, create, and share fun creative grief projects creating their own social healing network. Featured counselors are also available for 1:1 tele-counseling sessions. Guardian Lane is not only a top 10 finalist for 2021's Medtech Color initiative, but over 1,000 schools have already signed up for Guardian Lane since its launch in January of 2021. The video projects help students emotionally and socially understand how to process their grief, but in a fun and creative way. Both schools and families can sign up for access to the community and projects. Video projects are for ages 5-17. Video projects are exclusive to Guardian Lane's community and have been submitted from vetted grief counselors from around the world. Guardian Lane was recently awarded the grand prize winner in the inaugural Medtech color pitch competition.
When founder Kristina Jones was seven years old, her father died from Cancer. She never received the help she needed to process the death but instead poured her grief into the arts. Her school, rather than provide support, gave her and her mom a Christmas tree. At the age of 35, Kristina decided to write a book on how she stayed connected to her father throughout the years. While writing and editing the children's grief book "My Forever Guardian", she noticed how her book's characters were building their own "Social Healing Network". Kristina, a successful 2x tech entrepreneur and the 14th African American woman to raise over $1M dollars for a tech startup, went on a hunt to see if this network for children existed. Not only did it not exist, but there was a tremendous gap in online help for young children and adolescents. After speaking with over 500 grieving families, Kristina saw the need for this "Healing Network" to exist for children. So, she and her team began building and recruiting grief counselors in the summer of 2020 as most support diminished due to COVID-19.
Kristina Jones is an award winning advertising art director turned tech entrepreneur. When Kristina Jones was looking for the next tech company to build after scaling courtbuddy.com (now Lawchamps) nationwide, raising $7.5 Million in funding, and becoming the 14th African American woman to ever raise more than $1 Million from VCs for a tech startup, she started with a personal story. When Kristina was seven, her father died from cancer and she knew one day she wanted to share her story on how she kept the connection to her dad alive. Throughout the process of writing and editing, "My Forever Guardian", she noticed the immense lack of online support for the millions of grieving children here in the US. After connecting with the nation's best grief counselors and getting feedback from over 500 grieving parents, she quickly got to work building Guardian Lane, a children's mental health platform that is innovating how children access grief counseling. With the use of video sharing technology, community, tele-counseling and a whole lot of creativity, the children have begun to build their own social healing network. Guardian Lane has partnered with over 1,000 schools since it's beta launch in late January and is growing into new districts daily! Kristina's work has been featured in Vanity Fair, Forbes, CNN Business, Inc., Entrepreneur, Essence, Black Enterprise and more.
Dr. Elena Merenda
Child and Family Grief Consultant at Guardian Lane
Dr. Merenda is a featured grief counselor at Guardian Lane. Dr. Merenda has more than 15 years of experience in early learning and therapeutic settings. Her background is in early childhood education, with a specific expertise in therapeutic play and supporting families with children who have special needs. Dr. Merenda holds a Masters of Art in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Western University. In addition to her experience at the University of Guelph-Humber, Dr. Merenda has taught academic courses at Humber College ITAL, she was the Program Advisor for a continuing education stream of the Early Childhood Education program at Humber College ITAL. Dr. Merenda is perfect for grief related questions.