Natalie Hampton, a 16-year-old from Sherman Oaks, California, is the designer of Sit With Us, which launched on September 9. She was inspired to create it after she ate alone her entire seventh grade year, she told LA Daily News. The situation left Hampton feeling vulnerable and made her a target for bullying.
Hampton, now a junior, is attending a different school and is thriving socially. Yet, the memory of sitting alone and being bullied still haunts her, especially since she knows her experience isn’t an isolated one.
“Sit With Us” helps students who have difficulty finding a place to sit locate a welcoming group in the lunchroom.
The app allows students to designate themselves as “ambassadors,” thereby inviting others to join them. Ambassadors can then post “open lunch” events, which signal to anyone seeking company that they’re invited to join the ambassadors’ table.