Our Mission

Beyond Differences’ mission is to inspire students nationwide to end social isolation and create cultures of belonging for everyone. We envision a world where all youth are accepted, valued, and included no matter their differences.

We believe that Transformative Social-Emotional learning (SEL) is the key to disrupting social isolation and that young people have the power to change the world, starting with how they treat each other at school and online. Beyond Differences works directly with middle and high school students, on campuses and online, to help disrupt social isolation and promote inclusion in their schools.

Beyond Differences is a student-led social justice movement empowering students to become activists and change the culture of schools. We provide schools with Social Emotional Learning tools to help tackle loneliness and foster a sense of community and complementary professional development for educators.

Beyond Differences’ award-winning signature programs and SEL curriculum are used at 8,500 schools across the nation, reaching over 3.5 million students in all 50 states.

Beyond Differences Team

In Memory of

Lili Rachel Smith

(1994-2009)
Beyond Differences was founded by Laura Talmus and Ace Smith to honor the life and memory of their daughter Lili Rachel Smith. Since 2010, Lili has been the inspiration and guiding light for Beyond Differences’ accomplishments and growth. Her life sparked a national movement that has now touched the lives of millions of children.