After seeing how many students had been impacted by social isolation, her own daughter included, Laura Talmus knew something had to be done. “There was nobody talking about [the] phenomenon of adolescent social isolation” at the time, she said, which motivated her to create the nonprofit Beyond Differences.
Co-founded by Talmus and her husband in 2010, the organization is dedicated to ending social isolation among youth and creating a welcoming culture for all by focusing on student leadership, teacher training, and national programs.
“We’ve come to realize that middle and junior high school doesn’t just have to be a phase of life that children have to endure,” said Talmus. “We lead with students who change the culture of their own school with our leadership opportunities.”
Beyond Differences, currently works with 9,000 schools across all 50 U.S. states, featuring programs such as No One Eats Alone Day, celebrated on February 17 this year.