16-year-old Ethiopian Hana Taylor Schlitz breaks sister’s record to become the youngest graduate from TWU   

Dollita Okine May 02, 2024
Hana's most recent accomplishment places her in Texas Woman's University's (TWU) records as the school's youngest alumna, breaking her sister's record. Photo Credit: Newsweek/instagram

The famous Taylor Schlitz family is making headlines once more as the youngest of the family, Hana Taylor Schlitz, becomes the youngest person to graduate from (Texas Woman’s University) TWU at the age of 16.

The family is renowned for churning out brilliant minds, as evidenced by her older brother Ian, who obtained his PhD at the age of just 17, and her older sister Haley Taylor Schlitz, who is currently 21 and the youngest person in American history to acquire a law degree at 19. Haley also received her Bachelor of Science in 2019 from TWU at the age of 16.

Hana’s most recent accomplishment places her in TWU’s records as the school’s youngest alumna, breaking her sister Haley’s record.

“I am so proud of her & glad to have her breaking my record in May when she becomes the youngest graduate in the history of #TXWomans,” Haley said on X.

Hana wrote in an article for Newsweek, “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. It is not just an academic achievement; it is a call to action.”

She revealed in the article that the passing of her biological mother served as the driving force for her desire to further her education.

She reported that her mother died from tuberculosis (TB) shortly after her birth in a remote Ethiopian village. When she was ten months old, Dr. Myiesha Taylor and her husband, William Schlitz, adopted her and brought her to the United States after learning that she too had tuberculosis. Fortunately, she overcame the life-threatening condition and climbed above the obstacles she faced.

“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. 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,” she expressed.

Hana is currently devoting her academic career to making sure that no one else dies from the disease or the conditions in their lives that allow tuberculosis to continue.

She declared, “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. 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.”

According to studies, 1.5 million people worldwide lose their lives to tuberculosis each year, making it one of the worst diseases in the world. Although it is a treatable disease, most cases occur in low-income nations.

Hana intends to use her research and studies to effect social change. She will start her doctoral studies in sociology at Texas Woman’s University this autumn after she graduates in May 2024.

She reiterated, “We cannot allow tuberculosis to continue stealing mothers from their children or potential leaders from our future. My journey from a small village in Ethiopia to becoming a PhD candidate in Sociology at age 16 is not just a personal triumph, it is a powerful demonstration of what is possible when we dedicate ourselves to eradicating TB.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 2, 2024


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