Home Nonprofit organization This 19-year-old is set to become SMU Law’s youngest graduate

This 19-year-old is set to become SMU Law’s youngest graduate


In fifth grade, Haley Taylor Schlitz struggled to be recognized by her school’s gifted and talented curriculum.

Frustrated, her parents pulled her out of public school and started homeschooling.

Now 19, Schlitz is set to become the youngest graduate of SMU’s Dedman School of Law.

The teenager will also be the youngest black woman to earn her law degree in the United States, according to Essence magazine, which recently featured Schlitz.

“I always live by the motto that you don’t find your way, you do,” Schlitz said. Essence. “So don’t let anyone else tell you what you can’t do.”

Schlitz, a Keller native, graduated from high school at age 13 and then began taking classes at Tarrant County College. At 16, she became the youngest ever graduate of Texas Woman’s University.

Schlitz and her mother, Dr. Myiesha Taylor, an emergency physician, wrote a homeschooling guide for black parents. The alternative to homeschooling teaches families the mindset of homeschooling, the benefits, what it requires, and how to get started.

For Schlitz, the biggest benefit of homeschooling was working at her own pace and pursuing outside interests, she said in an SMU press release.

In 2020, she was selected to be one of the youngest delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

After graduating this Friday, Schlitz plans to work on educational policy issues for an elected official or nonprofit, according to the press release. She also wants to increase opportunities for gifted and talented girls and students of color.

“Many girls and students of color are excluded from gifted and talented programs in our country,” Schlitz said in the statement.

“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.