Mean girls might say “you can’t sit with us,” but this new, innovative app says that you can. A once-bullied teenager developed a smartphone app that ensures that no student will ever stand awkwardly in the middle of the cafeteria by themselves again.
The app, called Sit With Us, recruits students who volunteer as ambassadors to invite others to join them for lunch. That way, a student with no place to go can quickly check the app for friendly digital faces. Ambassadors take a pledge to be kind and welcoming to any student who joins their table.
Natalie Hampton, the California teenager who developed the app, said she endured two entire years in middle school of sitting alone and went through a phase where a “mean girls clique” bullied her relentlessly. Now, with a new set of friends and a whole host of curricular activities under her belt, Natalie is a junior in high school and wanted to create a positive change for kids who are a little “outside the box.”
“Lunch might seem really small, but I think these are the small steps that make a school more inclusive,” she told CBS. “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.”