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).
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
We Must Prioritize Collaboration and Community
As I get ready to jump into this school year and finalize content for Beyond Differences National Educator Cohorts, I reflect on a social and emotional learning (SEL) workshop Beyond Differences hosted in partnership with Marin County Office of Education for 5th-...
Depression and Anxiety On the Rise in Youth and Teens During COVID — Experts Say Adolescents Need Connection to Thrive in School
This week, JAMA Pediatrics released a review of 29 studies from around the world that shows a 25 percent spike in anxiety depression and 20 percent rise in anxiety for children and teens since the pandemic began. The meta-analysis included more than...
Lonely at Lunch
Guest Author: Lucy HaysBeyond Differences Teen Board Member Every day in middle school I would eat lunch with my group of friends. In the earlier, sunnier part of the school year, we would eat in the courtyard. One day, I was sitting with our other friends, eating my...
(1994 – 2009)
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.
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)