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Magnet’s Black History Month Speaker: Haley Taylor Schlitz


Meet the 19 year old who has never let age, racism, or another’s opinion stop her


Background:


On February 24th, as part of a school-wide speech in celebration of Black History Month, Academic Magnet has invited Haley Taylor Schlitz to speak. Though you might not have heard her name, she has certainly made in a splash in the fight for equitable education and is the perfect role model for a young activist looking for a role model who proves that you don’t need to wait to make a difference.


After graduating from high school at 13, Schlitz graduated from college at 16, and eventually became America’s youngest black law school graduate at 19. Schlitz is is an advocate for equitable education and has said she went to law school so she could help improve the US education system. She plans to use her new law degree to work in education policy.



Upbringing and Accomplishments:


Schlitz attended public school until 5th grade when she began homeschooling because her parents were disappointed with her lack of access to gifted education. She wasn’t allowed to take the entrance exams and said she was constantly being told no. She also said the racism she experienced encouraged her decision to leave public school. Schlitz is thankful for the time she spent homeschooling, saying it allowed for more time to follow her passions. For example, while she was homeschooled, she and her mother co-wrote a book titled “The Homeschool Alternative: Incorporating a Homeschool Mindset for the Benefit of Black Children in America”.


Her advocacy:


“Anybody who’s listening to me, but particularly students of color and girls, ]know that you should eat ‘nos’ for breakfast, don’t let other people tell you how you should build your path. Don’t let other people tell you what you can and can’t do.”


— Haley Taylor Schlitz


During her college years, she was elected to Texas Woman’s University Student Senate to represent the College of Professional Education. During this time, she headed multiple efforts including rewriting the TWU Student Government Association Constitution and the Student Senate’s Bylaw and forming a public coalition to support Daca students and families.


At 14, she was 1 out of 15 teens on The Representation Project’s Global Youth Advisory Council, advocating for breaking female stereotypes and eventually serving as MC for their fundraising gala.


Later, she became the youngest delegate ever for the Texas Democratic Party convention, and she got the opportunity to introduce Kamala Harris at a local event. She has also attended the ACLU’s Teen Summer Public Policy Program.


In 2019, Shiltz was a keynote speaker at National Association For Gifted Children Convention. In 2020, Beyonce honored her as 1 of 4 people featured during black history month. Not only is Schlitz an academic superstar, she also has been crowned Miss Keller and Miss Tarrant County Outstanding Teen.


Seemingly never running out of accomplishments, in 2020, she served as a delegate at the National Democratic convention for Joe Biden. She also has served as a Young Scholar for the African American Policy Forum which inspired her to run a fundraising campaign for the program by selling “Ambitious Girls Make History T-shirt” with RAYGUN, a clothing company she made sure was sweatshop free. Additionally, in the summer of 2020, she did a judicial internship with Dallas County Judge Shequitta Kelly.


In 2021, Schlitz become 1 of 6 national editors for the American Bar association Law Student division. She also has hosted Zooming In w/Gen Z, a Citizen United interview-based media platform.


One part of typical college life Schlitz didn’t miss out on was joining a sorority. In 2020, she joined Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, a sorority founded with a focus on public service through education. She was included in their 100-year portrait. Schlitz is also part of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 9000 for her belief in the importance of education.


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