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16-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Graduate from Texas Woman’s University

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In a remarkable achievement, Hana Taylor Schlitz graduated from Texas Woman’s University (TWU) on May 10 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology at the age of 16, making her the youngest known graduate from the institution. This record was previously held by her sister, Haley Taylor Schlitz, who also graduated from TWU at 16 years and nine months in 2019.

Hana’s academic journey mirrors that of her siblings, Haley and Ian, who also demonstrated exceptional academic prowess by completing high school around age 12 and enrolling in university at 13. Haley has since graduated from law school and is now a practicing lawyer, while Ian operates his own video game business after graduating from the University of North Texas.

Hana, born in a southern village in Ethiopia, faced significant challenges early in life. Her biological mother succumbed to tuberculosis (TB) shortly after Hana’s birth, and Hana herself was hospitalized with the disease after being adopted and brought to the United States by William Schlitz and Dr. Myiesha Taylor. Overcoming these hardships, Hana thrived academically, completing high school through homeschooling and beginning her higher education at Tarrant Community College before transferring to TWU.

Her academic excellence at TWU was recognized with inductions into four honors societies, including Phi Beta Kappa and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Hana’s drive extends beyond her academic achievements; she has been accepted into TWU’s PhD program in sociology and is dedicated to raising awareness about tuberculosis, aiming to help eradicate the disease that had such a profound impact on her early life.

In an essay published in Newsweek on April 25, Hana expressed her commitment to advocating for those affected by TB, particularly in developing countries. “I am acutely aware that my story is the exception rather than the rule,” she wrote, emphasizing her dedication to breaking the cycle of this preventable disease.

Hana’s future goals include not only saving lives but also inspiring new generations of leaders to bring about positive change. As she continues her academic and advocacy work, her journey remains an inspiring testament to resilience and determination.

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