National Youth

Beyond Differences National Youth Programs offer comprehensive hybridized leadership programming for both middle school and high school-aged youth. This is done through two flagship programs National Teen Board and Activist Acclerator:


  • National Teen Board draws high school-age students from across the nation to work together to build Beyond Differences curriculum and give voice to fight to end social isolation.  This hybridized, year-round program culminates each year in the Activist Academy, a four day comprehensive leadership retreat.The National Teen Board members reflect the communities of young people they serve across the nation. They know by giving voice to their experiences they enable others to be seen. They see this as a great honor and responsibility that fuels all of their work. National Teen Board members can also participate in our Activist Academy.
  • Activist Accelerator program brings one-day engaging leadership retreats into middle schools to train youth to uplift others and lead the creation of belonging in their schools. These retreats are followed by online activities and resources to support students and teachers throughout the year.

Activist Academy 2024

Location: Emory University, Atlanta
Dates: July 27 – 30

Activist Academy is a 4-day retreat that unites our National Teen Board members from across the country to share their stories, sharpen their skills, interact with inspiring speakers, and bond with fellow activists.

What do students gain?

  • New tools to electrify your activism
  • Powerfull, resume building leadership experience
  • Strong public speaking/facilitation skills
  • A national network of fellow activists

Who can attend?

Only members of the National Teen board can attend the Activist Academy.
If you are a teacher with a student in mind or a student interested in attending, you can access the National Teen Board application HERE.

Activist Accelerator is a half-day, in-person leadership retreat for middle school students and educators to participate in activities that will help them create a culture of belonging in their schools.

Want to Join Us?

STEP 1:  Review the National Teen Board Application Guide here

STEP 2: Fill out and submit your National Teen Board Application here

STEP 3: Get ready to connect with a National Teen Board Member who is excited to meet you, answer questions and learn about your goals in activism and beyond.

What happens after I apply?

Your application is reviewed by the diverse members of the National Teen Board and Beyond Differences staff

New members of the Beyond Differences® National Teen Board will be notified within two weeks of their interview. 

We are here to help you through the application process. Please contact us at

Meet Our National Teen Board Members

See What They Made ↓ |