When Natalie Hampton was in middle school, she ate lunch alone for the entire year — but the Huffington Post says the current high school junior took action to make sure fellow students never feel isolated.
Now 16 years old, Hampton created the “Sit With Us” app, which “helps students who have difficulty finding a place to sit locate a welcoming group in the lunchroom,” reports the Huffington Post.
After eating alone left her feeling vulnerable and susceptible to bullying, Hampton designed the app so students can identify themselves as “ambassadors,” or those who are inviting others to join their lunch, says the Huffington Post. “Ambassadors can then post ‘open lunch’ events,” HuffPost reports, “which signal to anyone seeking company that they’re invited to join the ambassadors’ table.”
Hampton explained how the app can help reduce the chances of students being rejected in the lunchroom to Audie Cornish on NPR’s “All Things Considered, reports the Huffington Post:
“This way it’s very private. It’s through the phone. No one else has to know,” she said. “And you know that you’re not going to be rejected once you get to the table.”
Launched on Sept. 9, the Huffington Post says Hampton told Cornish that the app has already received positive feedback.
“People are already posting open lunches at my school,” she told the program. “So I’m very excited that things are already kicking off with a great start.”