Imagine you’re 10 years old and you find out that your dad has been diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. You learn that it’s a potentially life-threatening disease, which runs in your family. Then you’re told that for the first time in two centuries, your generation probably won’t outlive their parents.

This would be enough to intimidate any child, but the news was no match for 10-year-old Haile Thomas and her family. They used the news as inspiration to change their lifestyles and successfully reverse Haile’s father’s diabetes. Since then, the now 15-year-old teen chef has dedicated her life to being a health advocate for youth. She uses her platform to advocate for children’s health and plant-based diets.

Haile’s resume is impressive, with accomplishments beyond those of folks three times her age. Here are just a few of the many hats she wears:

Founder/Executive Director

Haile is founder and executive director of the HAPPY Organization, which teaches basic cooking and nutrition to kids in Arizona. She founded the nonprofit when she was only 12! HAPPY’s mission is to engage, educate and inspire youth to embrace healthy habits and transform their lives by providing vital nutrition education, cooking, social and emotional programs. Programs such as HAPPY Chefs present 2nd-5th graders with fun, hands-on ways to interact with healthy foods.

Photo: The HAPPY Org
Photo: The HAPPY Org


Haile is a Jr. Chef Advisor for Hyatt Hotels, consulting on their ‘For Kids By Kids’ menu. She also appeared on Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off when she was only 12 years old.

Photo: MSN
Photo: MSN


Haile has spoken at national health conferences and appeared in media such as O Magazine and The Dr. Oz show. Her gigs include prestigious venues such as the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Kids State Dinner, Clinton Foundation Childhood Obesity Summit, and TEDxKids.


Haile runs a YouTube channel, Plant-Powered Haile, where she shares her vegan lifestyle with her subscribers.

If Haile’s spirit and drive are any indication, then Generation Z is prepared to take charge of the obesity crisis themselves and inspire a whole generation to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Do you know any other teens who inspire you to live a better life? Tweet me or let me know in the comments below!

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