How I Became a Teenage Activist and Entrepreneur by Living Lively with Haile Thomas

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Haile Thomas is the youngest person to ever appear on the Sigrun Show, and she has an inspiring story to tell.

At only 19 years old, she is an international speaker, activist and CEO of her own non-profit HAPPY, which she founded when she was 12. She has been featured on TV and highlighted in publications like O Magazine and Teen Vogue.

Her journey started when she was a very young child and her parents welcomed her to joining conversations they had with other adults instead of sending her away to play. It made her very secure at an early age.

When Haile’s father was diagnosed with diabetes and the medications he had to take caused severe side effects, her family started looking for alternative treatments. Haile was fully involved in the process of healing her dad and in the process learned about the power of healthy nutrition and coming together as a community for a cause. In the end, her family was able to reverse the condition of her father without the use of medication.

Haile felt so inspired, but was also increasingly shocked that children aren’t learning more about leading a healthy life. She made it her mission to motivate and empower young people to prioritize self-care and pursue healthy and purpose filled lives, impacting thousands in the process.

“When you follow that intention and purpose behind what you’re doing, all else that you need follows suit.”- Haile Thomas

Speaker at the Selfmade Summit

I came across Haile when I was planning the Selfmade Summit in Iceland. It would have been this year, but because of the ongoing pandemic I postponed it to June 2021. I had most of my speakers lined up, but I wanted to also have someone speak on stage who was younger. Haile was recommended to me by other entrepreneurs, and when I checked out her website, I knew she was the one.

In this episode of the Sigrun Show, she talks about the moment she became an activist, the time she worked with Michelle Obama and how this year has affected her work so far. She also introduces her new book Living Lively.

If you want to be inspired by a young woman who has achieved incredible things at a very young age, lean back and hit play.

What you will get out of this episode:

  • How Haile has achieved so much in such little time (7:15)
  • The role models who have shaped Haile (9:30)
  • The moment that made Haile become an activist (10:46)
  • How the media found Haile (13:50)
  • What led Haile to go into education and become one of the world’s youngest nutrition coaches (17:30)
  • The time Haile worked with Michelle Obama (24:34)
  • How Haile decided to write her book Living Lively (26:14)
  • How Haile makes money (30:40)
  • How this year has affected Haile and what it means for her work in the future (33:00)

Do you want to know more about speaking up and making yourself heard? Learn how to speak your mind even if your voice shakes.

The Incredible Journey of Haile Thomas

When Haile was a child, her father was diagnosed with diabetes. The medication he had to take caused severe side effects, and the family thought of alternative ways to treat him, including a healthier nutrition. They were able to reverse his condition, and Haile felt so inspired that she wanted to do more to promote wellbeing and healthy living.

She joined the youth advisory board for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a non-profit in the US. It was the first step in what would become an unique journey.

Haile underwent extensive training, was taught what was going on in the world and what she could do to help her community. The organisation saw her potential for public speaking, and at the age of 10, Haile had her first speaking engagement at a big health conference in Washington D.C.

She was speaking in front of corporate leaders, people from the health and wellness industry, chefs she had always admired on TV, and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

After the event, Haile was approached by representatives of hotels who liked the idea of children being involved in their own wellbeing so much that they wanted her to revise their kid’s menu which was being served across the country and in the Caribbean.

It was this partnership that got the media’s attention. Haile spoke on national TV, was invited to podcasts and interviewed by local news stations. She attended big events and met high-profile people, but she started to realise that she was losing the ability to really make an impact in the way she originally intended to.

Book release of Living Lively and Keynote Speaker at the Selfmade Summit

Together with her mother, she started brainstorming about how she could be more community centred and came up with the idea to create a non-profit where she could talk to children and educate her peers.

Even though she had a lot of knowledge, she felt she needed to get an external certification in order to validate her before others. However, what really drove her was the desire to learn as much as she possibly could in the field. She attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and was the youngest to graduate as a nutrition health coach. She was 16 years old at the time.

More confident with her education and ability to speak, Haile was able to infuse her expertise into her non-profit HAPPY. Her work today includes talking about nutrition and cooking, but also mental health and self-care.

Her most recent step is the release of her book Living Lively. She was collecting ideas for years, and has now combined the topics of self-growth and wellness with nutrition. “It feels like a human 101 guide from the perspective of a young person - that’s exactly what Living Lively is.”

We can doubtlessly expect many more great things from Haile, and I’m proud she will be attending the Selfmade Summit in Iceland next year as a keynote speaker.

Did this episode inspire you? I would love to hear your thoughts! You can follow and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Connect with Haile Thomas:

  • Find out about Haile’s work and her book here
  • You can find all the information on Haile’s non-profit here
  • Do you want to hear Haile speak? Get your ticket to the Selfmade Summit here

Please share, subscribe and review

Thank you for joining me on this episode of the Sigrun Show. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music so more people can enjoy the show. Click here to learn how to leave a review, then head over to Apple Podcasts for your chance to win a special thank you gift!

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