SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. -- A California teen who was bullied as a seventh-and eighth-grader has created an app to help stop bullying.
Natalie Hampton 16, of Sherman Oaks, has created a free web application that encourages students to create an inclusive learning atmosphere to fight the growing trend of bullying in cafeterias and cyberspace.
The app is called "Sit With Us," which provides a way for students who often sit alone the ability to join lunch groups anonymously. The app is "designed to promote kindness and inclusion in schools. Kids can use the app’s features to coordinate lunches with their friends."
“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.”
As a seventh-grader Hampton remembers having to eat lunch alone and the embarrassment she felt knowing her classmates saw her lonely and vulnerable.
“I was a shell of the person I was. When I walked into a classroom I was planning an escape route,” she said.
The app allows students to volunteer to be "Ambassadors" for their schools and post open lunch events where everyone can be included.
Hampton hopes "Sit With Us" inspires students to take a stand against bullying.
Right now, the app is available on iOS only, but she's hoping to launch an Android version soon.