This Teen Created an App to Stop School Bullying

Sit With Us wants to make sure no student will ever eat alone

Oct 18, 2016
Natalie Hampton presents her app at the 2016 Makerfare at the San Diego Natural History Museum. (Sit With Us)

Natalie Hampton presents her app at the 2016 Makerfare at the San Diego Natural History Museum(Sit With Us)

The days of eating lunch alone in school cafeterias may be over thanks to this industrious teenager. Like many teens, Natalie Hampton, a 16-year-old high school student from Sherman Oaks, California, knows what it feels like to be bullied. In 7th grade, Hampton found herself the target of her classmates, sitting alone during lunch for an entire year. Her own experiences inspired her to create an app that helps students find friends or peers to join them for their mid-day meal. Sit With Us - launched in September and currently only available on iOS devices - allows users, or ambassadors, to create invites through the app, notifying other users who are looking for company during lunch.

In an interview with NPR, Hampton explained that she wanted to use technology as a way to ensure student’s privacy and avoid that moment of rejection: “This way it’s very private. It’s through the phone. No one else has to know. And you know that you’re not going to be rejected once you get to the table.”

About one out of every four students (about 22%) report that they’ve been bullied before, a figure that organizations and apps like Stopbullying.gov, and Sit With Us are working to bring down. As of September 2016, thousands of students have already started using the app, so it seems like things have already gotten off to a great start and lunchtime loneliness could soon be a thing of the past.

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REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.