Tags: natalie hampton | sit with us | app | lunch

Natalie Hampton's 'Sit With Us' App Fights Lonely Lunches

Image: Natalie Hampton's 'Sit With Us' App Fights Lonely Lunches

California teen Natalie Hampton's new "Sit With Us" app aims to make sure every child in school has someone to eat with. (sitwithus)

By    |   Friday, 16 Sep 2016 10:12 AM

Natalie Hampton’s "Sit With Us" app could be the start of something special as the app is aimed at making sure every child in school has someone to eat with.

The 16-year-old California girl developed the idea for the app, which launched Sept. 9, “to help students find kindness and welcoming groups with whom to eat in school lunchrooms across the country,” AJC.com noted.

“Lunch might seem really small, but I think these are the small steps that make a school more inclusive,” Hampton told the Washington Post. “It doesn’t seem like you’re asking that much, but once you get people in the mindset, it starts to change the way students think about each other. It makes a huge difference in how they treat each other.”

The now-high school junior was inspired to create the "Sit With Us" app after eating lunch alone for her entire seventh-grade school year, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Hampton said the experience made her feel lonely and vulnerable, which led to her being bullied even as an eighth grader, causing “nightmares, stress and depression.”

“I was a shell of the person I was. When I walked into a classroom, I was planning an escape route,” Hampton said.

According to AJC.com, the app enables students to connect with other students at their schools as well as chat with other users to set up lunches. Users can designate themselves as “ambassadors” and create “open lunch” events and invite others to attend.

“Sit With US was born because I am committed to making sure that other kids don’t suffer as I did. I believe that seemingly small, incremental changes in the overall dynamic of a school community can bring about change, so that everyone feels welcome and included,” Hampton wrote on the app’s official website. “I believe that every school has upstanders like me, who are happy and willing to invite anyone to join the lunch table. It is my hope, with people pledging to be ambassadors at their schools, that no one will feel left out.”

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Natalie Hampton's Sit With Us app could be the start of something special as the app is aimed at making sure every child in school has someone to eat with.
natalie hampton, sit with us, app, lunch
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2016-12-16
Friday, 16 Sep 2016 10:12 AM
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