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.

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

No One Eats Alone Sign Up Image

Leading National Program

No One Eats Alone Day®

This national awareness day and program helps youth experience a welcoming seat at the table next to friends. The curriculum inlcudes activities to celebrate connection and friendship at school to build a culture where everyone feels like they belong.

What We Do

All of Beyond Differences® programs and curricula focus on the development of social-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

National Programs

Know Your Classmates®

This awareness day and curriculum invites welcoming and inclusion through identity exploration. These aspects of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) are foundational for understanding and celebrating differences.
Learn More Here.

Be Kind Online®

In response to the rise of social media, awareness day and curriculum is an original Social Emotional Learning program that reaches beyond the classroom walls. It gives youth tools to address the rising issues of social isolation online.
Learn More Here.

Leadership and Methodology

Youth Leadership & National Teen Board

The National Teen Board is made up of a diverse group of high school aged youth who inform and guide our work. These passionate activists use their leadership skills to create cultures of belonging, including the middle school tools and curricula that we develop. Learn More Here.

Professional Development

To empower the implementation of our programs in schools, we have developed an online community for educators. The platform offers a space to learn and share ideas for Social Emotional Learning (SEL), mental health and wellbeing and DEI best practices. Learn More Here.

Happening Now

Beyond Differences is Featured in Better Magazine

Beyond Differences is Featured in Better Magazine

Better Magazine is a lifestyle publication that focuses on creating positive connections that inspires readers to live a greater purpose. In their article, “Mental Health and Kids: How Parents Can Recognize Anxiety and Depression Signs in Children” by Donna Berry...

Hello Friendship: The Perfect Cookie is Meant to be Shared

Hello Friendship: The Perfect Cookie is Meant to be Shared

Our Hello Friendship initiative inspires friendships but requires a secret ingredient: YOU! Inspiring friendships, disrupting social isolation, and creating cultures of belonging - these are the fundamental ingredients that make up the Beyond Differences mission. We...

Weaving the Invisible Fabric of Connectedness

Weaving the Invisible Fabric of Connectedness

“He yelled hate at me and my grandma and no one did anything.  I have to ride that bus tomorrow. My mom tells me to be safe, but how am I supposed to NOT be Asian?” The young man’s tearful rage made the Zoom classroom fall silent.  As I looked out at my students,...

(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.

National Awareness Days

Join Beyond Differences® by celebrating three National Awareness 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)