Haley Taylor Schlitz is a HERstory maker, author, public speaker and respected thought leader on the issues students of color face in navigating gifted and talented programs in our public schools.
Haley has spent the last few years of her life pursuing education excellence. In May of 2022, Haley became the youngest Black American to ever graduate from law school in the history of the United States.
In 2016, at the age of 13, Haley graduated high school and started her undergraduate education at Tarrant County Community College’s Northeast campus. After one year at TCC, Haley applied to and was accepted to over 15 undergraduate institutions as a transfer student. Her acceptances included Xavier University of Louisiana’s prestigious Pre-Med Program, Oklahoma State’s Honors college, Spelman College, University of Texas at Dallas, Grambling State University, Tuskegee University, Bard College at Simon’s Rock – The Early College, Texas Woman’s University and many others.
Haley chose to attend Texas Woman’s University because she embraced the university’s stated purpose to “Educate a woman, empower the world.” Haley’s concern about the lack of diversity in our nation’s gifted and talented programs, and her own experience of being denied multiple times to be tested for the program in our public schools, influenced her in selecting a major in Interdisciplinary Studies within TWU’s College of Professional Education. Haley thrived academically and was on the Dean’s list for multiple consecutive semesters. Haley graduated Magna Cum Laude and was honored for her academic success by being selected as the student speaker during her graduation ceremony. Haley is the youngest graduate on record from Texas Woman’s University.
While at Texas Woman’s University, Haley continued her strong commitment to leadership and public service. Haley was elected to the Texas Woman’s University Student Senate as the representative for the College of Professional Education. As a Student Senator, Haley led the effort to rewrite and strengthen the TWU Student Government Association Constitution and the Student Senate’s Bylaws. Additionally, Haley led the fight in the Student Senate to build a coalition to publicly support DACA students and their families.
In addition to her leadership at TWU, Haley has been active in other international efforts to bring positive change to our world. At the age of 14, Haley was selected as one of 15 students for The Representation Project’s Global Youth Advisory Council. In this role, Haley helped create and lead campaigns to engage youth on addressing social stereotypes women face in our world. Haley’s work was recognized by the organization and she was selected to serve as the MC for their yearly fundraising gala in San Francisco, California.
Haley is also active in community and public policy discussions. Haley ran for and was elected as the youngest delegate ever to the Texas Democrat Party convention. Haley's activity in local, state and national politics led to her serving as the speaker to introduce Senator Kamala Harris at a public event in Tarrant County. Haley was selected last summer to participate in the American Civil Liberties Union’s Teen Summer Public Policy Program in Washington, DC.
Additionally, Haley served as one of the keynote speakers for the opening night of the National Association For Gifted Children Convention this past November. Haley spoke about her experiences of being denied access to gifted and talented programs in public school and how crucial it was to expand beyond stereotypes for students of color. Haley focused on the need to stop seeing students of color as a problem and start seeing them for their full potential to be the solution to many of the crucial issues that face our world. Last summer, the Los Angeles Sparks invited Haley to serve as the COO For A Day where she was honored for her academic success during halftime of a game.
In 2019, Haley decided that a legal education would help her pursue her passion to make positive change in our world. Haley applied to and was accepted into nine law schools. The law schools she was accepted into included SMU Dedman School of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law, Howard University School of Law, University of Houston Law Center, Southern University Law Center, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, St. Mary’s University School of Law, University of North Texas Dallas College of Law and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.
After serious consideration of each school, Haley chose to attend SMU Dedman School of Law. Since starting her legal studies at SMU in the Fall of 2019, Haley has enjoyed the academic setting and learning from the world class faculty. Haley’s favorite courses so far are Criminal Law and Torts. Haley is also thankful for the scholarship support she has received from the Black Women Lawyers Association of Tarrant County and the Texas Young Lawyers Association.
Haley’s academic success at such an early age led to international media coverage. Her decision to attend SMU Dedman School of Law was broadcast live on Good Morning America. In addition to her interview on Good Morning America, Haley was featured in the American Bar Association’s ABA Journal, Law.com, Ebony, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star Telegram and on the local news broadcasts of CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.
On February 28, 2020, Haley was featured by Beyonce as one of her This Is Black History 2020 honorees. Haley was one of four people featured during Black History Month by Beyonce. Haley was part of a list that included Stacey Abrams, Coco Gauff, Congressman John Lewis, Issa Rae, Robert F. Smith, and many others. Also in 2020 Haley was crowned Miss Keller and Miss Tarrant County Outstanding Teen.
In June of 2020, Haley was elected to serve as a delegate for Vice President Joe Biden to the Democratic National Convention. Haley is one of the youngest people elected to serve as a DNC delegate in 2020.
Haley has served as a Young Scholar for the African American Policy Forum. Haley found the Young Scholar program empowering and launched the Ambitious Girls Make Herstory t-shirt fundraising campaign for AAPF with the clothing designer RAYGUN. Haley chose RAYGUN because their products are cut and sewn sweatshop free. Their products are also designed and printed by Union Labor at RAYGUN. In addition to her work with AAPF, she also did a 2020 summer judicial internship with Dallas County Judge Shequitta Kelly.
Haley is also a published author. In 2019, Haley and her mother Dr. Myiesha Taylor published their book The Homeschool Alternative. The book captures their experience as a homeschooling family and provides resources to Black families on how they can incorporate a “homeschool mindset” into their education journey.
Recently, Haley was selected as one of six national editors for the prestigious American Bar Association Law Student Division. The Division has over 100,000 members. Student Lawyer‘s circulation reaches over 60,000 – more than half of the entire US law student population. The award-winning Student Lawyer blog was named an ABA Blawg 100 (under the name Before the Bar), and it reaches tens of thousands of visitors every month. Haley was also named the host of the new online show Zooming In w/Gen Z that is produced by Citizen Ed. The show is a fast paced news and interviews that focus on the world through the eyes of Generation Z.
On February 15, 2020 Haley officially joined the sisterhood of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority was founded by seven educators at Butler University on November 12, 1922. Haley proudly followed her mother's legacy into Sigma Gamma Rho and is committed to the organization's mission. Haley is a member of the Alpha Pi Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority in Fort Worth, Texas. Haley is also a member of the National Black Law Students Association, American Mensa, Intertel and Davidson Young Scholars.
Haley Taylor Schlitz is the proud daughter of William Schlitz and Dr. Myiesha Taylor. Haley has a brother, Ian, and sister Hana. Haley continues to enjoy playing the harp and piano. She is a sabre and epee fencer and performs original spoken words works at the DaVerse Lounge in Dallas, Texas. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games with her siblings and drawing. Haley appreciates her family and loves any opportunity to spend time together.
“You don't just find your path, you make it.”
Haley Taylor Schlitz