Girl Entrepreneur #005
Name: Haile Thomas
Business Name: HAPPY (Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth)
Haile Thomas is the founder of HAPPY (Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth), an incredible non-profit organisation that aims to engage and educate young people about healthy food and healthy lifestyle choices. Her aim in setting up her company was to be a positive example and inspiration to young people and demonstrate to them the power and potential that exists in their lives.
After her father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when she was young, Haile and her family were forced to change their diet. Through this positive lifestyle change, they were able to reverse her father’s diagnosis. This brought Haile’s attention to the health benefits of a lifestyle change and got her thinking about the many young people, particularly in at-risk communities, who’s financial situation often prevents them from accessing nutritious meals.
HAPPY aims to teach young people that fresh food can be just as convenient and tasty as fast food. Haile runs cooking classes and posts healthy, easy recipes on her website and YouTube. She also partners with urban gardens to show that fresh food can be accessed if you’re willing to look for it. The aim for the future is to make fresh foods more easily available and continue teaching young people the benefits of making healthy food choices.
She also hosts the podcast “Girl Empowered”, using her immense success as a platform to give other amazing young women a voice; her aim is to reach out to as many young people as possible and empower them to become happier and healthier.
Haile recognises that the challenge of advocating for healthy children’s diets is an issue that, if not addressed properly, could result in backlash. But she is determined to positively empower young people by making them aware of how foods could affect their body and health, both in positive and negative ways.
She encourages other young people, particularly girls, to be confident in their goals: “If you don’t doubt yourself, then you don’t really leave room for others to doubt you. You have to be a firm believer in what you are trying to do and not waiver when there are naysayers or people who think you can’t get something done.” Her passion for business has seen her win many awards and has gained her praise from Michelle Obama!
Girl Museum Inc.