Making friends isn't easy to do. That's why 16-year-old Natalie Hampton from Sherman Oaks, California, had to find a way to make it easier. After all, she'd experienced being rejected from her peers; the entire year of seventh grade, she ate lunch alone.
So "Sit With Us"—which launched Sept. 9—was born. The app gives users the option to be either an "ambassador," or a student (or group of students) offering up a seat at their table in the cafeteria; or it can be a place for other students to seek tables to join.
Hampton felt an app was the best way to allow students to look for a place to sit without being ostracized by their peers.
“This way it’s very private. It’s through the phone. No one else has to know," Hampton explained to Cornish. “And you know that you’re not going to be rejected once you get to the table.”
In addition to creating this app, Hampton has also been working to ask fellow classmates to take a stand against bullying. After all, when the “cool kids” take a stand against bullying, it has significant impact, according to a 2012-2013 study conducted by Princeton, Rutgers, and Yale. The study found a 30 percent decrease in student conflict when schools provided their most “socially competent students” with social media tools and encouragement to combat bullying, the Huffington Post reports.
Natalie Hampton should serve as reminder to us all that we are capable of making lasting impressions on other people’s lives. So, the next time you’re sitting on your college campus and see someone looking for a place to sit, smile and invite them to pull up a chair.