Haile Thomas, Jr Chef

Haile Thomas is a dedicated and passionate health advocate for youth, An 8th grader at The Gregory School in Tucson, Arizona, Haile's mission is to engage, inspire, motivate and educate her peers about healthy eating, cooking and living.  Haile is the founder and program director of the HAPPY Organization, and serves on several advisory boards, including the Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program and Chop Chop Magazine. She is a Certified Healthy Living Ambassador with the Tucson Village Farm, and also served for 3 years on the Youth Advisory Board supporting the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.  Haile is one of the first 8 young chefs featured on season one of Rachael vs. Guy Kids-Cook-Off on Food Network, and serves as Health Ambassador for Hip Hop Public Health and the WAT-AAH Brand. Haile was a guest in First Lady Michelle Obama's Box at the 2013 State of the Union Address, representing Let's Move.  She was also the 2012 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from Arizona, and was invited to introduce the First Lady during the 2nd Annual Kids State Dinner held to honor the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winners. Haile is active in her community as the co-founder of the HAPPY Organization, which is partnered with the YWCA Tucson to improve the health and wellness of Arizona youth and families through education, outreach, and advocacy about proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. Haile also hosts several community events, including her annual Global Youth Service Day events, H.E.A.L (Healthy Eating, Active Lifestyle) Festival – where children are engaged in fun physical activities, gardening, and nutrition education and the Healthy Belly Community Dinner & Wellness Fair. Haile is the Jr. Chef Advisor for Hyatt Hotel’s “For Kids By Kids” Menu which is served in all Hyatt properties in North America and the Caribbean.  Other notable corporate and nonprofit partners include the YWCA Tucson, Whole Foods Market Tucson, and MySocialCanvas.com. Haile is a contributing writer for Edible Baja Magazine, Polish Magazine, and on Vans Natural Foods Blog, sharing healthy recipes and encouraging her peers to learn to cook and explore new food and flavors. Haile is a shining example that one is never too young to make a difference in the world. She inspires and motivates her peers, showing them that with passion and dedication everything is possible.