rebelling against low expectations

Natalie Hampton, Age 16: Created App to Fight Bullying


(Washington Post) – Natalie Hampton spent most of her 7th and 8th grade school years eating lunch alone.

The new girl at an all-girls private school in Los Angeles, she became the target of a clique of “mean girls” who excluded her from parties, called her names and even physically assaulted her, she said. They told her she was ugly and would never have any friends. They shoved her in a locker, scratched her and even threatened to kill her.

She feared telling on them, afraid of their retaliation. Once a kid who loved going to school, Natalie now dreaded it. She stopped eating, she couldn’t sleep. The anxiety became so bad that she had to be hospitalized. Her mom calls it “the darkest period of our lives.”

Natalie switched schools for high school. She chose a school that, when she toured it, seemed to prioritize community. Now a 16-year-old junior, she’s happy there, with a group of close friends and extracurricular activities. But she’s never forgotten those two dark years when she was bullied and isolated by her peers.

And she hates the idea of other kids going through what she did.

So Natalie came up with an idea that would allow students a judgment-free way to find lunch mates without the fear of being rejected. She developed an app called “Sit With Us,” where students can sign up as “ambassadors” and post that there are open seats at their lunch table. A student who doesn’t have a place to sit can look at the app and find an ambassador’s table and know they are invited to join it.

When signing up as an ambassador, the student takes a pledge that they’ll be kind and welcoming to whoever comes to sit with them.

“Lunch might seem really small, but I think these are the small steps that make a school more inclusive,” she said. “It doesn’t seem like you’re asking that much, but once you get people in the mindset, it starts to change the way students think about each other. It makes a huge difference in how they treat each other.”

Keep reading here.

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Photo courtesy of Carolyn Hampton Photography.


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Editorial Team

is a group of young people who are passionate about ministering to their peers as they work for the good of The Rebelution and the glory of God. Their goals are to foster healthy Christian community and publish solid, kingdom-building content for teenagers. You can check out their individual bios here.


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  • This is awesome! It looks like it’s only available for Apple tho? Can you get it at the Google play store also?

    • I am a senior at HS and on the Cross Country team. Some of our best runners have a tendancy to talk bad about people who aren’t bad….. Well at least one of them is not bad. They are kinda self richous because of their speed. The whole team is small and like a mini family…. I keep thinking about what might happen if they said anything against my beloved Hannah.. I’d probably loose it. pray they don’t say anything against this one girl specifically because her speed is not that good. She and her sister mean the world to me and if anyone says anything mean about her things might get ugly. I know all of y’all have no clue who Hannah is. She’s a Christian and quiet. She is special to me and even though it’s hard to make her smile, when she does it is like a beam of light. She never gives up and does not get the credit she deserves. Just pray she does not get bullied over just because she’s herself.

  • I wasn’t really bullied when I was younger. But, I’ve seen it at my small school. I think that that app is an amazing idea. Thanks Natalie!

  • I think this app is a great idea. But i have never heard of it. That means probably lots at my school have not either. So how will it help if i download the app if no one from my school is using it or has never heard of it either. Great concept but you need to get the word out in schools so people will actually start using it so it will become more useful and serve its purpose because i would love to start using it.

  • Wow I think this is awesome! It really bothers me when people get mad when you sit in a seat that someone had been ¨saving¨ for someone they like better. It´s bad at my school because my school is so small when people start fighting in our 9-person class with only 6 girls it gets very uncomfortable. I love this Natalie!

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rebelling against low expectations

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