19-year-old youngest African-American law student to graduate from SMU

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Taylor Schlitz said she thrived working at her own pace, and at age 13 she graduated from high school. At 16, she was accepted to nine different law schools.

KELLER, Texas — History will be made this Friday when a North Texas native crosses the stage to graduate as the youngest law student at Southern Methodist University.

She is also set to become the youngest African American to earn a law degree in the United States.

At 19, Haley Taylor Schlitz says her path to SMU’s Dedman School of Law wasn’t a traditional one. When she was in 5th grade, she struggled with not being recognized as a gifted student. Her parents noticed that she was starting to act, and after consulting a child psychologist, it was revealed that Taylor Schlitz had to skip several grades after scoring extremely high on an intelligence test.

His parents then decided to homeschool him to better meet his educational needs.

“Many girls and students of color are excluded from gifted and talented programs in our country,” Taylor Schlitz said in an interview with SMU. “Society will lose the would-be scientist who cures a major disease, the entrepreneur who launches the next Amazon and so much more. All because of their gender and/or skin color.

Taylor Schlitz said she thrived working at her own pace, and at age 13 she graduated from high school. At 16, she was accepted to nine different law schools across the United States.

Taylor Schlitz uses her voice with passion to help move the needle in her community and to speak about public policy. In 2020, she was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

But the talented teenager is not the only one in her family to make a name for herself. In 2021, the WFAA caught up with Taylor Schlitz, her brother Ian and Hana – who were also homeschooled and both graduated from high school at the age of 13.

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Ian earned a bachelor’s degree, graduating magna cum laude from the University of North Texas at Denton at age 15. He started working on his MBA at Tarleton State and started his own company, Kidlamity Gaming, which hosts video game tournaments for gamers of all ages. 8 and 17 years old.

Hana graduated from high school at age 12 and attends Texas Woman’s University in Denton.

Parents, Myiesha Taylor and William Schlitz, said they always wanted to teach their children to honor their intelligence and honor their darkness.

They often tell their children:

“You have been blessed with this opportunity to shine. But, the true judgment of each of you is what do you do with this opportunity? That doesn’t mean you have to be Lebron James or President Biden. But what impact do you have on the world? »

Now, Taylor Schlitz’s hard work has paid off and she will be graduating on May 13. And what impact does it intend to have on the world? To work on educational policy issues for an elected official or a non-profit association. Taylor Schlitz also wants to find a way to increase opportunities for gifted and talented girls and students of color.

Ahead of this weekend’s ceremony, Taylor Schlitz also got to meet another grad making headlines at SMU. At 85, Marillyn Seeberger has a bachelor’s degree in film and media arts and plans to write screenplays.

Seeberger and Taylor Schlitz sat down to talk about each other’s travels. Watch the clip below:

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