Hometown: Dallas, Texas
When Texas native Haile Thomas and her family learned that her father had type 2 diabetes, they decided to switch to a cleaner diet in an effort to be healthier together. Though her father’s condition eventually improved, Thomas realized that she could apply her personal experience to a much larger purpose. At just 12 years old, she founded HAPPY (Healthy, Active, Positive, Purposeful, Youth), a nonprofit that addresses the lack of access to healthy, nutritious food among at-risk communities. Now 20 years old, she continues to raise awareness about the issue, earning recognition for her work from outlets like Teen Vogue, CNN, O Magazine and Good Morning America.
In honor of Black History Month, In The Know is highlighting changemakers making an impact on the world through cultural advancement, community leadership, and entrepreneurial innovation. See all of the honorees here.