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14 September 2016, 16:07
She wants to put an end to teens feeling isolated at school.
There's no denying it. High school can be tough. People don't tend to be overly nice at that age and mounting pressure and anxiety have been known to make it a generally unpleasant experience.
Mean Girls popularized the phrase "you can't sit with us" but, no doubt, we've all had 'you can't sit with us' moments where we felt unwelcome or alone in social situations during school.
Well, 16-year-old Natalie Hampton may have found the cure to you-can't-sit-with-us-itis. The California high school student has created and launched an app called Sit With Us which aims to "promote a a kinder and more inclusive school community".
The 11th grader, who was bullied in the past, decided to turn her experiences into an amazing app for students who face similar hardships.
At my old school, I was completely ostracized by all of my classmates, and so I had to eat lunch alone every day. When you walk into the lunchroom and you see all the tables of everyone sitting there and you know that going up to them would only end in rejection, you feel extremely alone and extremely isolated, and your stomach drops.Natalie Hampton
After I changed schools, whenever I saw someone eating lunch alone, I would always invite the person to join the group. Each time, the person's face would light up, and the look of relief would wash over the person's face. Some of those people have become some of my closest friends.Natalie Hampton
So, here's how the app works.
Students can sign up to be ambassadors at lunch and anyone searching for lunch companions can feel totally free to come up to them and sit. The interaction is totally private and it's an amazingly sweet solution to an anxiety inducing situation.
It's a perfect example of how you can turn your bad experiences into genius ideas to help other people. Natalie Hampton, you're officially our hero!