Haley Taylor Schiltz is about a week away from becoming the youngest law school graduate in the nation. On May 13, the 19-year-old will receive her law degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in University Park, Texas.
Taylor Schiltz — a Black woman — is currently a third-year law student at the university. A press release from the school revealed that Taylor Schiltz received acceptance letters from eight different colleges before making her decision.
According to the press release, the young scholar excelled as an “author, public speaker, and respected thought leader on the issues students of color face in navigating gifted and talented programs in public schools” while attending Dedman School of Law.
Taylor Schlitz began to find her passion for learning while merely in the fifth grade. As a kid, the future lawyer felt that her current school did not nurture and grow her talents as a gifted student.
After testing poorly on a Texas standardized test, her teachers even suggested that she be held back a grade — this prompted her to begin homeschooling where she could learn at her own pace.
The Birmingham Times reported that by 13 years old, Taylor Schlitz had already completed high school. This achievement garnered national attention for the star pupil.
Community college came after her high school graduation. By 16, Taylor Schlitz had already graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas Woman’s University. She enrolled in law school next.
“Many girls and students of color are left out of our nation’s gifted and talented programs,” Taylor Schlitz said when speaking about her personal experience with the educational system. “Society will lose out on the potential scientist who cures a major disease, the entrepreneur who starts the next Amazon, and so much more. All because of their gender and/or skin color,” she added.
In addition to her strides as a top-performing student, Taylor Schlitz has also published a book with her mother Dr. Myiesha Taylor. In 2019, they released The Homeschool Alternative.
The book shares their experience as a family that trusted homeschooling and lends a how-to homeschool guide for Black families who want to try options beyond the traditional schooling system.
“I really want to help students realize their potential even if they can’t home-school. I want to help families open their eyes to the opportunities that they don’t even realize are there,” Taylor Schlitz said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News.
The following year in June 2020, the future lawyer was elected as one of the youngest delegates to the Democratic National Convention.