A group of high school students in Florida have dedicated part of their day to making sure their fellow classmates have some company at lunchtime.
A club called We Dine Together at Boca Raton Community High School in Boca Raton, Florida, consists of students who roam their school’s courtyard during lunch looking for students who are eating alone. They then introduce themselves and get to know the students.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Denis Estimon, who came to the United States from Haiti in first grade, is one of four students who helped create We Dine Together. In an interview with Steve Hartman for CBS Evening News, Estimon explained his motivation for the club.
“To me it’s like … if we don’t try and go make that change, who’s going to do it?” he said.
Allie Sealy, who also helped organize the club, got emotional while remembering what it was like to sit alone at lunch.
“Meeting someone who actually cares and listens to what you have to say really makes a difference,” she told Hartman. “And that could happen at lunch, that could happen at our club.”
Viewers who watched Hartman’s piece, which aired on CBS for his “On The Road” segment, praised the club members for extending a helping hand.
The HuffPost Parents newsletter offers a daily dose of personal stories, helpful advice and comedic takes on what it’s like to raise kids today. Sign up here.Estimon told the Sun Sentinel that his club has had an even bigger purpose since the election as some students have been told they are going to be deported. He hopes to spread the mission behind his high school’s take on We Dine Together to schools across the country.
“It’s not a good feeling, you’re by yourself,” he said. “And that’s something I don’t want anybody to go through.”
Last year, Natalie Hampton, a teen from Sherman Oaks, California, made waves with an app she designed that also helps students avoid sitting alone at lunch. Called Sit With Us, the app helps students locate groups of people with which to sit while they eat.
By Taylor Pittman