Creativity and invention knows no age. It’s amazing what students can create if they believe they have a gift to offer the world, one that can make a difference.
Natalie Hampton, a 16-year-old teenager from California, did just that. She was attending a new school in seventh grade, and wound up eating lunch alone the entire year, because the thought of approaching a table of strangers and getting socially rejected was too intimidating. Five years later, at a new school where she was thriving, Natalie still remembered how ostracized she felt.
Not knowing where to sit that year in seventh grade had left her open to bullying, a large problem facing traditional schools.
She could have called herself a victim.
Instead, she did something.
Natalie created a “Sit With Me” App that helps students find welcoming tables to sit at. Students can host an “Open Lunch” using the App, which lets other users know they’re welcome to join. It’s discreet and fun! This brilliant innovation has already shown a reduction of bullying in schools where it has been introduced, and is spreading to college campuses and outward. It’s exciting to imagine the possibilities of this App for work events involving Networking, where it can be daunting knowing who to talk to.
However, the most noteworthy aspect of this App is how the inventor turned a harrowing experience into something that could help make a difference in the lives of others.
Has bullying affected your life? What would you feel confident enough to do if you knew there would be a smile on the other side?