Our Mission

Beyond Differences® mission is to inspire students nationwide to end social isolation and create cultures of belonging for everyone. We are building a future where all youth are accepted, valued, and included, and all of our differences are celebrated.

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.

Our award-winning signature programs and SEL curriculum are used at 9,000+ schools across the nation, reaching over 4.5 million students in all 50 states.

Beyond Differences® Team

In Memory of

Lili Rachel Smith


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 the accomplishments and growth of Beyond Differences®. Her life sparked a national movement that has now touched the lives of millions of children.