As a member of the Advisory board of Beyond Differences, I have seen how this organization has developed over the years and made a significant impact on the lives of many.
My daughter joined this group two years ago because its core mission resonated with her. I've volunteered in a couple of ways, mostly minor, but throughout I've been blown away by the organization. The adults are deeply committed, but the drive truly comes from the kids, who see the cost of social isolation every day. The eloquence with which the teen board members and other kids express the need for change, and for change to come through individual choices is incredibly powerful. I'm both proud and humbled that my daughter brought us into this organization.
This is my son's second year participating in Beyond Differences and I feel so fortunate that he in the program. His leadership and social skills have improved, and he's gained a greater compassion for others. Through assemblies, club activities, and activism Beyond Differences creates an awareness of the social isolation that adolescents can face, and strives to make middle school a more accepting and inclusive environment. The wonderful and dedicated staff of Beyond Differences knows that social change takes time, but are committed to a long term vision of reasonable and thoughtful program growth. Future middle school generations will undoubtedly benefit from their questioning social norms and advocating for acceptance and change.
Beyond Differences is making a difference. I have been lucky enough to see a number of the assembly programs Beyond Differences has presented and have seen first hand the positive reaction from the students. The kids enter the assembly hall talking, joking, an unruly mass of preadolescence but after they hear the compelling story from each Beyond Differences Teen Board member and enter into discussion about social isolation they leave the assembly thoughtful, inspired, and a little more grown up. Beyond Differences is sowing the seed so that every student will want to be the one person who reaches out and makes a peer feel more included. Beyond Differences is changing the culture of middle school.
Being part of Beyond Differences has changed everything about me, from my mind set to the simple ways to make someone feel special. Smiling at someone in the hallway, moving from one table where all your friends are to sit with someone who is alone. Becoming friends with someone you wouldn't imagine ever talking to. Thinking about how people feel, opening up becoming a better person in general. All because of Laura and Ace I feel like I belong. Thank you.
Beyond differences is a great organization that helped me discover how to stand up and speak out to bully's and social isolation. I joined to stop people from eating alone and being excluded or left out. This is a great organization that helps you stand up to bully's and it also teaches you how to be a good friend and include others.
Beyond Differences is an unbelievable organization that helps kids understand social isolation and put an end to it in their schools and communities. They learn life skills and then are taught how to pass on these skills to other students in their schools and communities. It is all about helping each other to feel included, valued, recognized and respected. An amazing organization that I'm very proud to have my son be a part of.