Natalie Hampton USA, 16
project: Sit With Us
basic human NEEDS: EDUCATION
Theme Song: "Stop, Just Love" by Us The Duo
As a victim of bullying during her middle school years, Natalie dreaded lunchtime when she was forced to sit alone. The bullying and seclusion she faced became so severe that she was forced to switch schools. Although Natalie went onto have a positive high school experience with many friends, she didn’t want other students to endure the feelings of isolation that she had in middle school. Natalie created Sit With Us (SWU), a free mobile app to promote a kind and inclusive community within schools. It is not only a platform to plan lunchtime seating, but its features allow students to create profiles, connect with their peers and organize their own events.
By encouraging students to start their own SWU chapters and act as SWU ambassadors, Natalie further promotes youth to take action against bullying and act as leaders in their communities. She has been featured on ABC World, Good Morning America, NBC, Forbes, Huffington Post, among countless reputable media outlets internationally. Now available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, France and Italy, SWU is rapidly spreading across borders worldwide. It already has 70,000 users and is gaining 10,000 new downloads each week. There is even a version of the app for individuals who don’t have own cell phones. Natalie is currently working to make the app for Android devices, which will significantly increase the number of users, and continue to decrease the number of students who sit alone.