The club is a godsend, especially for kids new to the school
Navigating the social landscape of high school can be difficult and having good friends makes all the difference. In fact, just having someone to sit with at lunch can have a huge impact on a student’s experience, and that’s the mission of a group of Florida high schoolers who formed a club centered around the idea that no one should have to eat alone.
CBS News highlighted the work of Boca Raton Community High School’s lunch club called “We Dine Together.” They visited the school and interviewed several teens who are part of the group, organized by student Denis Estimon. He explains that when he came to America as a Haitian immigrant in first grade, he felt isolated, especially at lunch. “It’s not a good feeling, like you’re by yourself. And that’s something that I don’t want anybody to go through,” he says.
Estimon, a popular senior, remembers those lonely feelings and decided to take action. “To me it’s like, if we don’t try to go make that change, who’s going to do it?” The club was born last fall and has had tremendous success so far with the students claiming several friendships have formed as a result.
“I don’t mind not getting a football scholarship. This is what I really want to do,” says Jean Max Meradieu, who gave up being on the football team in order to spend more time with the club.
Club member Allie Sealey explains what “We Dine Together” means to her, as she was new to the school only two years ago. “I went from a school where I always had friends — to coming to where I had nobody,” she says tearfully. “It just seems really unfair,” she laments, referring to the number of kids in that kind of situation. “It’s honestly an issue. 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. It’s going to make a difference.”
Sealey points out that for someone who doesn’t have any friends, the lunch period can be the most excruciating part of the day, but it doesn’t have to be. Clubs like this can have a significant impact on teens and their high school experience. It’s such a simple act — sitting down next to someone and introducing yourself. But it can have a far-reaching and positive effect on a child who just needs a friend.
Hopefully, the idea of the club will catch on. Denis and his team are already trying to open chapters of “We Dine Together” at other high schools so the new social trend will be making sure no one has to eat lunch alone.