Beyond Differences is a community organization that truly makes a difference in the lives of those it serves. By empowering teens to lead the organization and supporting middle school students in transforming the culture of their schools, Beyond Differences is helping to end social isolation in middle and high schools throughout the country. Utilizing innovative programs-- such as No One Eats Alone (addressing social isolation during school lunches) and Be The One (addressing social isolation online) -- Beyond Differences is the only nonprofit working to eliminate social isolation, the precursor to bullying.
I first became aware of Beyond Differences when my daughter returned from school transformed by the assembly given at her middle school, she was in 6th grade. After a long family discussion at dinner we were all impressed with the message as well as how it was being delivered. My daughter has since joined the teen board and is extremely energized by the work she is involved with. Her excitement to spread the word and help build awareness about social isolation is contagious. It takes passion, enthusiasm and dedication to reach out to the teen population, which is where this movement has the biggest impact. Beyond Differences is a dynamic organization that is making a difference in the lives of teens.
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.
What an incredible organization Beyond Differences is! My daughter has been involved with this organization for 3 years and I can honestly say that they have made a huge difference ending social isolation in our community. These kids are given the tools, and instruction by fabulous teachers, community leaders and activists and guidance to lead discussions on ending social isolation. The teens actively make a difference because they are leading discussions on the two main programs, No One Eats Alone and Be the One. They are inspirational and teach middle school students how to work together. Beautiful people and beautiful organization. I can't say enough about the fabulous leadership and incredible message they are sending.
I have been working with Beyond Differences for the past two years. Beyond Differences is a great organization that works with the middle schools to make them more accepting places. Beyond Differences address an issue that is incredibly prevalent and not often talked about. I am incredibly proud to be a member of the Teen Board.
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 unique in that it is truly led by the students themselves. All of its programs and initiatives have been developed and have grown out of hearing the voices and feedback of students. Students all want to be good, to feel good about themselves, and to make others feel good about themselves-- and Beyond Differences empowers students with those tools. The foundational belief is that these students really CAN make a difference and change the culture of their middle schools. And they are doing so! With the support of these kids, their parents, and some excellent educators, Beyond Differences is expanding and will continue to make a difference in the lives of the people it reaches.
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.
I have been so impressed with the outreach and effectiveness of Beyond Differences in our community. I hope that it's continues to grow so that the good work can have that much greater effect beyond the bounds of Marin County. The strength of this program comes from the "messengers" who are teens themselves-many of whom have been the victims of bullying. At a time when when our nation is experiencing the tragic repercussions of what social isolation can drive young teens to do--we really need to focus on the mental health aspect. This program teaches teen leaders compassion, empathy and understanding. One teen at a time, Beyond Differences is making a huge impact.
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 a California Bay Area organization that is taking social isolation seriously by initiating programs that help teens feel connected, listened to, and motivated to make a difference.
Lots of organizations talk about supporting teens. Beyond Differences puts talk into action. It teaches middle school kids and high school kids to "Be The Change" in their schools and communities.
Beyond Differences brings teen leaders into various public and private schools around the area to be peer examples. They hold assemblies and break out sessions that get kids to open up to their feelings about being socially isolated and socially isolating teens to realize the consequences of their actions.
I feel strongly that Beyond Differences has the power to make serious changes for Middle School kids around the Bay Area and beyond. These kids need to know that the isolation they are experiencing isn't ok.
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.
Beyond Differences is dedicated to ending social isolation among middle school students -- something we all believe is important and currently not being discussed as a positive and preventative remedy to the serious issues of teasing, bullying and violence. Beyond Differences is unique, too, in that it is led by a 33-member Teen Board of Directors themselves high school students. The Teen Board leads middle school assembly programs for 5th - 8th graders and the positive role modeling they provide the younger students is fantastic! Beyond Differences provides in-school, after-school and community based programs all at no charge. I think they are one of the most exciting and effective organizations around! I hope they win the Great Nonprofit Award!