High school can be an excruciating, lonely experience. Whether you’re new at school or just plain shy, we know it can be difficult to befriend a stranger or approach an intimidating clique. We also know lunch is perhaps the trickiest time of day for people who don’t feel super socially accepted in school. So, what do you do to evade the heavily-populated cafeteria? For many kids, you opt to eat alone. Denis Estimon, a senior at Boca Raton High School, knew the feeling well. So he and his friends created a lunch club where no students have to dine solo.
They call the club, “We Dine Together.”
There are over 60 members. They spend their lunch hours befriending students who are eating alone. Denis shares the purpose behind the socially-driven club:
“Long-lasting relationships are built from across the table,” Denis tells People. “We want to get kids to come out of their comfort zones and realize that they have a lot in common, no matter where they’re born, what they’re background is, or whether they speak with an accent. In one way or another, we’re all alike.”
The rest of America, please take note.
Denis and his friends — Kinsley Soorestal, Allie Sealy, and Jean Max Meradie — came up with the brilliant idea during a summer class. A teacher asked them what was the single most important thing they wanted to change about their high school experience. They all agreed: It was lunch time.
Kinsley Soorestal, one of the co-founders of the club, told People:
“I know what it’s like to feel shy and by myself… When my family moved here nine years ago, I was always the kid lunching alone. Now that I’m making a difference, it feels good to say, ‘Hey, I gotcha, man. What’s your name? How are you doing?’… You can tell they really appreciate it. Maybe for the first time, they feel like they belong.”
Aw, sometimes good things come out of hard experiences. We love how this group has taken their personal hardships in such a positive direction. Now, how do we get more lunch clubs going?