As thought leaders and practitioners for over a decade, Beyond Differences® pioneered the creation of nationwide programs that equip middle school communities with activities and curricula for Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

National Programs

No One Eats Alone®
Know Your Classmates®
Be Kind Online®

Secret to our Success

Youth Leadership Development
National Teen Board
Professional Development for Teachers

What We Do

All of Beyond Differences® programs and curricula focus on the development of Social and Emotional skills for students ages 11 through 14. Our aim is to help teachers and students create welcoming cultures in classrooms, raise cultural awareness, promote diversity and inclusion, and encourage youth to embrace differences and see them as strengths.

Events & News

Read Our Blog

Governor Newsom Celebrates Know Your Classmates® Day

Governor Newsom Celebrates Know Your Classmates® Day Growing up, Governor Gavin Newsom struggled with dyslexia. He wrote a children's book, Ben & Emma's Big Hit, to share his challenges and spark a discussion. On October 14, in honor of National Know Your Classmates® Day, he...

The ABCs of Transformative Social Emotional Learning

The ABCs of Transformative Social Emotional Learning

Beyond Differences is introducing our new ABCs of Transformative Social Emotional Learning (T-SEL). It outlines 26 important elements of creating a T-SEL space to which educators can refer. This poster shows practices, reminders, frameworks, and programs that we...

Beyond Differences Welcomes New National Programs Director

Beyond Differences Welcomes New National Programs Director

Beyond Differences is pleased to announce that Alyssa Ching has joined their team as the Director of National Programs. Alyssa will work closely with our 9,000+ schools nationwide to manage and expand our three national school-based programs: Know Your Classmates®, No...

(1994 – 2009)

Our Inspiration

Beyond Differences® was created in memory of Lili Rachel Smith. She endured the pain of social isolation and feeling different.

Lili is the heart and guiding light of the organization.

Fundraising Partners

(To see more of our partners click HERE)

Student Action Days

Join Beyond Differences® by celebrating three Student Action Days that promote Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), help to end social isolation and create a culture of inclusion at your school!

Know Your Classmates® Day

Designed to explore youth identity and belonging + help students embrace diversity, and help students speak honestly about their feelings. Now includes teen created lessons on How to be An Ally, Diverse Expressions of Gender, Recognizing Bias, and Anti Racism + National Stand Up for Asian American Youth Campaign materials. (FALL) 

No One Eats Alone® Day

Youth learn to make new friends at lunch beyond their existing peer groups through community-building activities that help them get to know one another and include students who are being left out.  (WINTER)

Be Kind Online® Day

Focused on creating inclusive communities online and ending social isolation in digital spaces. Students learn how to stand up to hateful behaviors, positive and negative aspects of screen time, social media’s effect on emotions and how to regulate those feelings, how to build self-confidence online and how to build your future online. (SPRING)