At just 17 years old, Haley Taylor Schlitz has already earned an undergraduate degree in education and started law school last fall.
She is a law student, public speaker, author and thought leader, but she is most proud to be an advocate for immigrants and for gifted students from communities that are typically overlooked. Haley’s ancestry goes back to Africa and Europe, and that knowledge coupled with the fact that her sister was adopted from Ethiopia, have fueled her activism. She is a forceful voice on immigrant rights and the issues students of color face when they seek placement in gifted and talented programs in US public schools.
Haley knows first-hand the taste of rejection as she was denied multiple times the chance to be tested for the gifted and talented programs in her local public schools in Texas. Her family took matters into their own hands, homeschooling Haley beginning in the 5th grade, believing that she was not being taught properly. Haley has said that home-schooling allowed her to excel at her own pace and on her own terms.
She was only 13 when she graduated high school and started as an undergrad at Tarrant County Community College in Fort Worth, Texas. She spent one year there, then applied and was accepted to over 15 undergraduate institutions as a transfer student. Her acceptances included prestigious HBCUs, including Xavier University of Louisiana, Grambling State University, and Spelman College.
At 14, Haley enrolled at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. At TWU, Haley was on the Dean’s List consecutive semesters. She was a student senator and helped to rewrite the school’s Student Government Association Constitution and the Student Senate’s Bylaws. She graduated Magna Cum Laude at 16-years-old. She remains the youngest graduate on record from Texas Woman’s University.
Haley is currently a law student at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, after being by nine law schools. She says her youth is her strength.
“I think being younger than the average student helped me to get to where I am,” she told www.iamanimmigrant.com. “It’s really what makes me stronger. It’s what makes me, me. I think it’s what helped me get into law school. I think it’s made a huge difference and changed my whole perspective.”
We can’t wait to see the difference the intellect and advocacy of Haley Taylor Schlitz will continue to make in the world.