At 16, Hana Taylor Schlitz Shatters TWU’s Youngest Grad Record, Previously Held By Her Sister


May 1, 2024

The youngest of the Taylor Schlitz kids is graduating college–at only 16!

This May, Hana Taylor Schlitz is set to become the youngest graduate in the history of Texas Woman’s University (TWU) at age 16. It’s a record previously held by her older sister, Haley Taylor Schlitz, who received her Bachelor of Science in 2019 from TWU at the age of 16.

The Taylor Schlitz family is known for its academic excellence. Hana’s older sister, now 21 years old, is the youngest person in U.S. history to earn a law degree. Her older brother, Ian, earned his PhD at just 17 years old. And now Hana, the youngest of her siblings, is making her mark in the academic world. 


“As I prepare to graduate from Texas Woman’s University, the youngest in its storied history since its founding in 1901, I am both honored and excited to join my sister, Haley Taylor Schlitz, in this unique legacy—gratefully stepping forward from the record she once set,” Hana wrote in an essay for Newsweek. “It is not just an academic achievement; it is a call to action.”

Hana’s continued pursuit of her education was fueled by the story of her birth. Her biological mother died of Tuberculosis (TB) shortly after Hana’s birth in a small village in Ethiopia. At 10 months old, Hana was adopted by Dr. Myiesha Taylor and her husband, William Schlitz, and brought to the United States after she was also diagnosed with TB. 

“My recovery from tuberculosis (TB) was not just a testament to medical science but also to the strength of the public health infrastructure in the United States that supported my treatment,” Hana shared. “The trajectory of my life shifted dramatically due to the medical care and opportunities I received, a stark contrast to the fate my biological mother met.”


Tuberculosis is one of the deadliest diseases in the world, claiming the lives of 1.5 million people each year. It’s a treatable disease that exists all over the world but mostly impacts low-income countries. Now, Hana is dedicating her studies to ensuring that no one else succumbs to the disease or the life circumstances that cause TB to persist.

“I am driven by the mission to ensure that every child has access to the same level of care that enabled me to survive and thrive,” Hana shared. “This commitment influenced my decision to pursue a PhD in sociology, a field that provides a lens to examine the complex interactions between society, health, and disease—interactions I have personally lived through.”

Hana Taylor Schlitz graduates from TWU in May 2024. She begins her PhD courses in Sociology at Texas Woman’s University this Fall, where she’ll continue to pursue her goals of impacting social change through her research and studies.


Congratulations, Hana!

Cover Photo: At 16, Hana Taylor Schlitz Shatters TWU’s Youngest Grad Record Held By Her Sister / Photo credit: Hana Taylor Schlitz via Instagram

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