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Teen Launches App for Kids to Find a Place to Sit in the Cafeteria

Teen Launches App for Kids to Find a Place to Sit in the Cafeteria

Natalie Hampton, 16, is the creator of Sit With Us: an app that allows students to find a group to sit with in the cafeteria to avoid eating alone.

If you’ve ever watched the movie Mean Girls, you’ll know how vicious and cutthroat high school students can be—particularly when Gretchen Wieners exclaims, “You can’t sit with us!” to Regina George, the leader of their clique called The Plastics, in the cafeteria.

Though that type of scenario actually does happen in real life, it does not have to, thanks to a new app that says "Yes, you can sit with us." 

Sixteen-year-old Natalie Hampton from Sherman Oaks, CA, created and, on Sept. 9, launched an app called Sit With Us to help students who may have trouble finding a place to sit in the lunchroom join a group to eat with. 

The idea for the app came about after Hampton was bullied in seventh and eighth grades. She ate lunch alone for the entire seventh grade and was ridiculed by her peers at an all-girls school. They threatened her with scissors and tripped her as she ran down the hall, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

“Some are crying for help,” Hampton told LA Daily News. “I want to use social media, which can be harmful, and use it for a change and to do something good.”

Sit With Us is a social networking app, and kids sign in via Facebook and add their school and address to connect with fellow students. Then, they can create a profile and search for open lunches nearby. Students can volunteer to be ambassadors, who host the open lunches. There is also a points system for posting a lunch, approving a friend request, adding a friend, and checking in to a lunch.

The app, importantly, ensures privacy for the kids looking for a place to sit so they will not be publicly humiliated by bullies and will not be refused at a table.

“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,” Hampton said on an episode of NPR’s All Things Considered.

The app is available for free to download on iPhone and iPad. 

RELATED: Find Weekend Activities in Your Area 

Main image: Graphic of the Sit With Us app
Photo credit: Facebook/Sit With Us

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