One High Schooler's Inspired Solution To Make Lunchtime Less Lonely
For lots of kids, lunchtime means freedom. A break from classes. A chance to get fresh air and expend pent-up energy in the company of their friends. But the social side of lunchtime can also be isolating—what if you're a new student who doesn't have many, or any, friends? Breaking into existing cliques is tough, and takes a level of confidence that few grade schoolers have.
Fortunately for kids across the country, one confident student has made it his mission to make lunchtime more inclusive. Denis Estimon was a senior at Boca Raton High School in Florida when he founded We Dine Together, a school club focused on introducing students to one another, so that no one has to eat alone.
Denis was a popular senior when he started We Dine Together. But he hadn't always enjoyed a big friend circle; an immigrant to Florida from Haiti, Denis' early days at school were lonely. And while many things about school have changed since Denis was that young, the need for friendship has not. Members of We Dine Together emphasize the impact that the club has had on their happiness at school:
"I went from coming from a school where I always had friends, to coming to where I had nobody," said club member Allie Sealy. "It's honestly an issue." But since she's participated with We Dine Together, Allie's school life has transformed. "Meeting someone who actually cares and listens to what you have to say, really makes a difference. And that can happen at lunch, that can happen at our club," she said.
We Dine Together accomplished a lot under Denis' leadership in Boca Raton—and there's much more to come! Denis has taken his concept with him past graduation. He has opened 15 chapters at other schools so far, and has at least 100 more planned.
Compassion, sincerity, and warmth can seem scarce in a high school environment, but Denis and his club co-founders are doing their best to change that. Go Denis!
Original story via CBS