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Texas teen making history as youngest ever Black law graduate in US

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) A younger girl in Texas is making history

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Haley Taylor Schlitz, 19, is graduating from Southern Methodist University on Saturday. 

“It’s just it’s too perfect, I’m excited,” Schlitz mentioned. “It feels really real now.”

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The North Texas native is making nationwide history.

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Haley Taylor Schlitz, 19, is about to turn into the youngest Black law graduate and youngest girl to obtain a JD this weekend when she graduates from SMU.

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Alexis Wainwright/CBSDFW.com


“This image of this young Black woman in America, in the state of Texas, getting ready to walk across the stage and make history, not as just the youngest Black law graduate in the history of this country, but also as the youngest woman in this country to walk across the stage and get her JD,” father, William Schlitz mentioned. 

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Haley has been making nationwide headlines since her story was shared via the University, from CNN to the Tamron Hall present. 

“It feels really good,” Haley mentioned. “Not only does it feel good to be recognized for the accomplishment, but it also feels good to be able to get my story out there. I’m really hoping to inspire anybody who hears my story.”

Haley does not take all of the credit score for this accomplishment. She credit her household, mates and mentors for all their assist. 

“I think one of the biggest things that’s kept me inspired is my village. You know, you never get anywhere alone,” Haley mentioned. “My mother is one of my greatest, greatest trees in my whole forest and she’s a huge inspiration, a great supporter, great advisor and literally the actual reason why I’m here.”

Her dad and mom say they could not be more proud as their daughter breaks perceptions round Black girl and males. 

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“To see her shatter perceptions of what Black students can do and what their full potential is,” William mentioned, “I think it’s a very powerful statement she’s making.”

Schlitz mentioned she did not at all times need to go to law college. 

“I just kind of did some looking back at my own journey, what I had gone through and how I can really use that to make the education system better for students that are coming after me,” she mentioned. “So I switched my major to education got my undergrad degree in education and then I went to law school to be able to write policy on education.” 

Her journey included loads of “nos.”

“There was a lot of people trying to tell me ‘no’ in public school and all throughout my journey, but that was definitely something I faced in public school. I wasn’t able to test for talented programs, [faced] constant acts of racism, and micro aggressions, and it was just a lot,” Schlitz mentioned.

That’s when her dad and mom stepped in and he or she began residence college as a substitute of public college.

“When school wasn’t working I just realized we had to go a different direction so she is the one that has been driving us, and growing us as parents,” Haley’s mom, Myiesha Taylor, mentioned. 

Fast ahead, she graduated from highschool at 13 years outdated, and went to law college across the age of 16. Now, she’s graduating from SMU’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas.

“I think we both in awe like, ‘wow this is really happening.’ She’s doing this, it’s crazy,” William mentioned.

“Just excited, proud,” Taylor mentioned. “She’s a phenomenal woman and I’m so excited for her future.”

Haley has a message for anybody youthful than her who could hear her story. 

“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.”

Next, she has to organize for the bar examination in July. Further down the road, she mentioned she desires to enter instructional insurance policies, whether or not it is working with a non-profit group or an elected official. Or, she could go into instructing. The alternatives are infinite for her.



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